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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello folks,

been off the forum for ages. Life got a little complicated last year and then I piled all my energy and effort into getting my 1965 Triumph Herald roadworthy. While that was being done I rode my little 350cc CZ as I needed to cut my motorcycling cost to the bare bone, the old girl ( 78 Tiger ) was mothballed for that time but was started and ridden up the lane every few weeks to keep her bits and bobs moving!

Well I dug her back out proper a month ago and changed all the fluids and the external oil filter and she's back as good as ever.

Today after some European travel restrictions look as though they might be lifted I risked booking a cheap ferry to France 3 weeks from now, I have a mate in southern Brittany. I've been there before on the Triumph but due to everyone going mad for ferry tickets I had to book a ferry to a port that adds a good 250miles to the trip. I live in the Midlands so the round trip is around 1000 miles so i'm going to do it in a few chunks, I'm going to take a small tent and enough just to overnight. I normally lash gear to the pillion seat area and have a biggish tank bag but i find as I get older being confined to just the front bit of the seat gets quite uncomfortable after a few hundred miles.

I have a few racks I've collected over the years so I'm going to take the angle grinder and mig welder to one.

My question regards attachment points, the top shock mounts are obvious but it's the mudguard mounting points I'm not a fan of as too me the weight of the rack appears to put a lot of weight/stress on the mudguard? Obviously I'm not going to put a lot of weight on it. I was wondering if anyone has ever run a bracket from the mudguard mount points to the lugs under the back of the seat as well as the lower ones? to spread the load a bit and take a bit off the mudguard itself?

Also a list of pre trip checks would be great, I'm going to check the valve clearances, pull off the primary cover and make sure nothing is amiss in there, gap the points and check the timing, anything else worth casting my eye over?

I also plan to take a bottle of Castrol octane booster and valve seat protector as I think fuel in France is getting more ethanol than the UK.......I think? and maybe this stuff would help especially as the motor will be getting quite toasty! I won't be thrashing the old girl mind, I tend to cruise around 60mph.
 

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Hi tommytiger, You are correct, I agree rear fender is not strong enough to carry much weight.

The top rear shock mount will carry basically all the weight. It is strong enough to handle it. Think of that mount as a weight bearing fulcrum. The bag bracket will want to pivot down rotating on shock mount. So I built a strong rectangular frame for bags to attach to.

The lower front of frame has strut going to passenger peg mount. I practice just these 2 points carry all the weight. However the bracket/bags will flop around at rear. So I built a stiff bracket that mounts to both fender grab handle & frame rail. This keeps bracket/bags from moving in/out.

The lower "strut" that extends from lower front of bracket & goes to passenger peg does not go straight, but has dog leg each end... So it goes at an angle. This angle proved to add great stiffness for not only for stopping the "fulcrum" rotation, but in/out sides was movement as well.

Studying old photos of genuine Triumph accessory hard saddle bag racks from early 60s that is basically how the factory supported their bags. However... They went a giant step further & had double metal bars extending around the rear fender, bolting to fender mounts. This provided great stiffness in/out & tied both together adding support.

I didn't want to have bars extending around back & my bags are fairly small. On trips they are packed full to overflowing & I sometimes put cargo net on top of bags. I made the bags semi quickly detachable, but never removed them. I have bags on for several years, many thousands of miles with dirt & very rough roads also. So far no cracks or fractures.

The metal is 1/4x1" & 1/8x1" aluminum bar from hardware store. Use nyloc lock nuts where possible.

A few points to keep in mind. My bike is '73 so drum brake with rod. Brake rod forced offsetting left bracket to left for clearance, but that has not caused problems. So verify caliper clearance etc.

Also, & this caught me by surprise is seat swivels over left shock mount when raised. So I cannot fully raise seat. I turned the spacer wasp waist to clear seat as possible. A bent top mount that is flat against shock mount is maybe better plan? When bike is on center stand, seat won't stay up. On side stand it will stay up. Kind of inconvenient at times.

Here's some photos I posted recently. Take the ideas & improve on them. I don't currently have my welder hooked up, so I bolted everything. I could make some improvements next time. I have more photos of details. PM me your email if you want to see them. Oh yea, I never did finish the top mount to frame. Just zip tied. Someday I'll put proper clamp on frame.



Don
 

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I based mine on a Ventura rack
AERO Bike-Pack System | Motorcycle Luggage, Motorcycle Bags
all be it for a dry frame bike. It uses a loop from the factory mounting points in front of the shocks around the back of the seat. It has a single central mount onto the rear frame loop mudguard mount and two uprights for the rack. That gives me the ability to use a 60 litre pack or swap the rack for a smaller version that can carry incidentals.



Rod
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cheers fellas, TR7RV man thanks for that detailed description, I too had thought about using the pillion footrests with a dog legged bar to get round the shocks, I can't see the pics on the post but I'd love to see it and some detail shots, I'll PM you.
 

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Hi,

Firstly, welcome back. :)

attachment points,
top shock mounts are obvious but it's the mudguard mounting points I'm not a fan of
+1, +1.

My T160's have had racks since the early 1980's, T100 has had a rack since I built it. All Rickman T140/TR7 racks as I also bought the Rickman detachable 'suitcase'-type panniers/topbox system.

run a bracket from the mudguard mount points to the lugs under the back of the seat
Never done that. For the 'other' rack attachment point/s, ime depends how much weight you intend to put on the rack - if really "not much" (waterproofs, small carry-bag?), I originally connected the Rickman racks' rear attachment points in place of the indicators on the grabrail, moving the indicators to the racks' rear pivot points (my rack tops are hinged to allow the seats to be opened; if your rack tops are fixed, indicators under the rack top through clamps around the rack tubing?). I originally used spacers and Rickman-supplied flat brackets to connect the racks' rear attachments but friends following advised the rack swayed from side to side even without "much" weight; :( I ended up making brackets from ally bar as thick as possible with spacers only to clear the grabrail tubing - lightweight and no more swaying. (y)

Greater weight on the rack, +1 to Don's advice to support the rear of the rack from underneath. However, as I have a pillion more often than not, I was unhappy using the pillion pegs at the other end of the rack support, I used the pillion pegs/exhaust mounting bracket-to-frame bolts.

Before I had the Rickman hard panniers, I had a pair of Swagman soft panniers. Because the Rickman panniers I have are detachable, each mounts on a frame hanging off the rack behind the top shock. mount; with the frames in place, they work like Don's "[soft] bag brackets"; however, while I found the Swagmans fine full, they were a pita not full, particularly carrying anything at all heavy. :(

Then, for reasons I won't bore with here, my T150 doesn't have a rack; first time I went touring on that, I found a (y) (y) (y) system at M&P. It essentially consists of two similar-size bags; most sides are 'soft' but one of each bag has a hard backing. The hard 'sides' are opposite the zipped openings so, as panniers, the hard sides are against the bike; as tank bag or tail pack, the hard 'sides' are the bottoms. The kit comes with a magnetic bit with a zip, one bag can be zipped to it as a tank bag (the other bag can be zipped to the top of the first bag for a silly-size 'crossing-the-Sahara'-type tank bag :rolleyes:). There are also two straps for securing the two bags either side of the seat as panniers; because the straps are adjustable, you can set the bags so they don't swing out when the bike's leaned in a corner; however, each bag has D-rings for bungee hooks, either for securing to the seat or rack as a tail pack or, as panniers, I route a bungee between two D-rings around a rear suspension unit. The kit also comes with (a?) strap so at least one bag can be carried off the bike easily. Finally, the bags'll store inside one another, with the straps and magnetic base inside the inner one. (y)

pre trip checks would be great, I'm going to check the valve clearances, pull off the primary cover and make sure nothing is amiss in there, gap the points and check the timing, anything else worth casting my eye over?
Check the tightness of every bolt, screw and nut - the one(s) you don't check will be the one(s) that come loose ... :whistle:

octane booster and valve seat protector
France uses the same octane ratings as GB (essentially 95 and 98). There's never been any widespread valve-seat issues on Triumphs since TEL was removed from petrol - they were running new on worse octane in the US without any problems. Absence/presence of ethanol never had anything to do with valve seat recession; (y) otoh, ethanol is routinely used as an octane booster in GB. (n)

The most useful site EVAH :) on the www for anyone touring France on a petrol- or diesel-powered vehicle is Prix des carburants en France, site gouvernemental; as you can see, you can select only sites selling 98; ime, if you're really stuck miles from anywhere with only 95, just ride with light throttle and plenty of revs. 'til you can get to somewhere with 98?

For those reasons, I've never bothered with "octane booster"/"valve seat protector" ... aka "snake oil".

Otoh, I do take plenty of my preferred 20W50 - up from one litre to two litres even the last times I went. Because ime any 20W50 is a bugger to find in France, I keep a close eye on levels and, if they start to look at all low, an eye out at any fuel stop for any 20W50. However, if the mate you're visiting is a old/bike vehicle owner, I appreciate he might have a 20W50 supply/ier.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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I personally would not trust the mudguard mounting at the rear of the seat loop to take any additional weight ( i have had one crack / split at the weld)
although the frame tube is thick and the weld is very strong the "plate" is woefully thin
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I'm not putting heavy stuff on it, my tent/mat/sleeping bag and camping gear is all lightweight but I'm still erring on the footrest to take the weight and upper Mudguard mounts to reduce waggle......that manky old R100RS rack I've been saving might come in handy after all!!

I'm going to design it to enable seat to fully pivot, I don't want to have to remove the rack if I need to get to the Battery/coils/condenser/rear brake res.

Yes bolt tightness check is par the course and I'll take a half a litre of Morris Vtwin 20/50 with me but the old girl uses very little actually. I was wondering is the Castrol valve protector might give the valve stems and guides an easier time?

I remember the last time I did this trip, being a pasty Brit not used to riding in 30deg plus temps I would stop every 45mins ish to rest my arse,have a swig of water and possibly a croque monsieur, I was always amazed by the amount of heat coming off the motor! To the point I would wonder how a mechanical device could possibly operate with that much heat in it? But then again most of these bikes ended up in hot climates so maybe I shouldn't be surprised! I have checked the oil temp after riding on very hot days and it's rarely above 65deg, maybe the frame is a very good heat sink?
 

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Wol, my choice of mounting point was not accidental. The accessory rack supplied by Johnson Motors mounted in the same manner. The design of the rack section itself means I can park the heavy bag on the pillion seat and strap the lighter stuff, tent, bag, bed roll etc onto the rack. If I need to access under the seat I can undo two clips and lift the bag off. I've done more than a few big trips ( 7-800 miles ) on both sealed and unsealed roads with no issues to date.

Rod
 

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Hi tommtiger, I got your PM, but your email was not in text. Please resend with email.

Regarding 30C these bikes are not effected at all with 30C. Not a problem at all. Morris V-twin is a good oil choice. Where I live the temp is 30-37C all summer long. Often, will be 39C in afternoon. I've ridden my bike all day long at 42C at 60mph hour after hour. Hottest ever was a 4 hr ride at 47C. 47C, bike still does fine, but I don't push it. Down shift & slow down over the steep passes. The heat off engine is staggering. Even the gas tank is hot to the touch. No way can you touch any part of back bone where oil is. Yet doesn't seem to hurt bike. Really good oil will protect motor. I find the hot temp at 60 mph my bike will use about twice as much oil. On 850 mile ride with half the ride 30-42C I used 350cc oil. Mobil1 v-twin 20-50.

Every ride so far this month has ended up at 38C by time I got home. Covered 300 miles so far this month. Bridge is being replaced on Canyon Rd. so must finish rides on freeway. 60-62 mph in 38C. Again bike will run all day without problems at all at 38C. Covid19 has shortened our rides dramatically.

I can promise you the valve seats, valves will not be harmed by unleaded fuel or E10 Unleaded. Our best octane is 91. Does not hurt motor so long as you avoid any pinking. Down shift & let motor spin. Going up hills run 55mph in 4th instead of 5th. That will prevent holing pistons.

Torco Fuel Accelerator is the only octane booster additive that actually works in USA. It works really well. Actually turns 91 into 100 octane. Cost is very high & you need maximum mix. No other in USA does much. Certainly won't keep bike from melting pistons, but Torco will.

USA got unleaded fuel in 1975. Great fear of valve wear followed. Turned out to not happen, even on cast iron seats. What we learned was no more lead fouling of plugs on really hot days like 42C. Not so long after leaded was not possible to buy at gas stations. E10 was mandated in California many years ago. I bought bike new. I used leaded 98-100 octane until no longer available. That was about 8000 miles from new. Now bike has 34251 miles. Original, bores, pistons, rings, valves, bottom end. I resealed tappet blocks 12k miles. No ring work, just put cyl back on. I very carefully track valve adjustment clearances. They simply don't wear.

The key to riding in hot weather is don't work motor hard in high gears. Downshift and let it rev freely. For your body, you are doing correct thing. Take a break every 35-40 minutes if/when possible. Just 1-2 minutes or so is enough. Drink lots of water & the special drinks for fluid replenishment. We have GatorAid & others. On all day ride you'll drink 4 liters water, 3-4 liters GatorAid. Maybe more. The Camel Back water systems bicyclists use are nice. But GatorAid will contaminate them, so only use water in them. At a gas stop I'll easily drink 1 liter gator aid + .5 liter water. I find not too hungry in the hot, just thirsty. We don't have air conditioning in our house, so we get used to heat. When it cools to 30C you need a light jacket. I know UK weather is cool like San Francisco. Heat is really hard on those riders as they are not used to it. Keeping sun off skin with light colored long sleeves keeps you much cooler. I'd like to have white perforated leathers for the heat. My jacket is black leather. Still cooler to wear jacket at 47C.

TR7RV & T140 are a great comfortable road bike except for the vibration. To me more comfortable on long days in saddle than dry frame. Vibration is variable bike to bike. Some are not so bad. Others burn your skin. My feeling is not so much balance factor, but dynamic is off.

Still, 400 miles a day is enough for me, depending on roads. Scenic easy rolling 2 lane roads with some twistys about 300 miles is just right.

I hope to hear of your report of the France ride. What a great idea!!
Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Cheer Don, I've sent my email to you.

thanks for the hot weather riding advice, we are just like our bikes really just try to keep as cool as possible , keep well lubed and have a rest every so often.

I've never ridden another T140 so I don't know how mine compares to others on the vibration front. I have ridden 2 other Meriden engined Triumphs a 1958 5TA which was super sweet and smooth until very high RPM and a Rickman framed Metisse 650 that was a genuine beast and left my hands numb after 5 mins.....a scary bike!

I remember the first ride I had on my Tiger after reading the negative press on vibration I was expecting the worst and I was very surprised as it was more 5TA than 650 Metisse. I find the more tired I become the more I notice it and after a short rest my bike feels smoother again, always found that odd? I found replacing my old squashed seat foam made a massive difference to vibration.

Don I have absolutely no intention to take my engine but when you talk about the Dynamic being off is that balancing the crank whilst spinning it in the way wheels are balanced rather than statically balancing an object? It would be interesting to ride a T140 that has been balanced to within an inch of it's life, matching piston/con rod weights etc.

I have a 45 sprocket on the back which makes cruising a bit more relaxed, not 100% sure what speed I cruise at as my speedo flops around between 50 and 60mph, the rpm sits fairly steady at 4000rpm and at that speed I have to slowly overtake Trucks which in the UK cruise at around 55/60mph so I estimate I'm doing around 60mph?
 

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Hi,

pre trip checks would be great, I'm going to check the valve clearances, pull off the primary cover and make sure nothing is amiss in there, gap the points and check the timing, anything else worth casting my eye over?
Looking in another recent thread for something else, I was reminded about two other possibilities you might want to add to your list:-

. If your bike still has spoked wheels, 19" front, a spare tube. Reason is, if you are unlucky to have a front wheel puncture, 19" tubes aren't very common on-the-shelf. :(

. Spare cables? If so, make the existing ones the spares - clean and lube, cover the ends with gaffer or self-amalgamating tape over a small plastic bag. Reason for the plastic bag is, if you do have to use the spare, when you rip off the tape, the plastic bag goes with it - no sticky residue on the cable from the tape. Reason for making the existing ones the spares is, if you do have to use the spare, you know it's a good one, unlikely to fail a few miles down the road with a fault you didn't know about. Also, ziptie a spare clutch and throttle cable to the ones in use; reason is you don't have to faff around taking the tank off or threading a spare cable between it and the frame at the side of the road.

Hth.

Regards,
 
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