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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Greetings,

Someone has tried to steal & hot wire my 96 Triumph Sprint. The good news is that the bike is there and the person is in custody. They jimmied the lock and cut some wires. I soldered and shrink wrapped the cables together and the bike starts & runs. However, there's a black hose missing from the crank case with some oil residue on it. Can you please help me identify what it is? I believe the neighbor found it nearby, but now that's evidence. Just wanted to add, is it safe to ride with it missing? I rode home 25 miles and it seemed fine.

See attached, the black hose missing is circled in red.

Thank you!
 

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It's the crank case breather hose...it goes from the clutch cover to the bottom of the air box...short term you'll probably be ok, ie. it's not critical. Worth replacing soon ish though ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The hose is the piece of evidence of a trial against some shady individual vandalising the neigbourhood. It doesn't look damaged and a new one is $40. Any tips on reinstallation, please?
 

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One end goes in the obvious spot on the motor, the other end attaches to the airbox, and you could probably get away with $2 worth of hose from Home Depot to replace it. (IIRC, the airbox end is between & a little beneath carbs 1& 2, but it's been a while so don't take my word for it.)

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the info! I'm going to try to reinstall the hose after I get it back from the police today or tomorrow. Can someone please explain on what does the hose do? Does it suck air from the crank case or something? I'm curious ...
 

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It is a crankcase vent hose. The crankcase is not pressurized, it is open typically routed to the intake in some way to allow for venting of gases. the hose off the top allows it to breathe and keeps it from being pressurized and blowing seals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gentlemen, I got my hose back! I was able to locate both holes that it plugs into ... once you have the hose in your hand it becomes quite obvious. I'm mechanically inclined and I'd like to put it on myself, but the clasps on the end look like they are missing something. Do I just put it on and pull the clasps apart? Seems rather weak seal, nothing is holding them in place. I can post photos.

P.S. without the hose my bike smells funky :)
 

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Gentlemen, I got my hose back! I was able to locate both holes that it plugs into ... once you have the hose in your hand it becomes quite obvious. I'm mechanically inclined and I'd like to put it on myself, but the clasps on the end look like they are missing something. Do I just put it on and pull the clasps apart? Seems rather weak seal, nothing is holding them in place. I can post photos.

P.S. without the hose my bike smells funky :)
They are just spring clamps. The hose is under no significant pressure, it is just a vent tube. You can usually remove and refit it by hand, squeezing clamps open with fingers. Just make sure it is secure enough not to fall off. Thats the way it is on mine anyway.
 

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Could use the smell to your advantage, if the bike starts smelling like burnt toast its time for an oil change! That said, all the crud that could fall into the crankcase probably makes it worthwhile to put the hose back in place.

Utterly beyond me what motivates bike thieves, why in gods name would they remove the breather hose. I'm rebuilding my Speed after a run in with the criminal classes, and the things they did to it just make the mind boggle... why would they tear out the wires for the radiator fan or snap off indicators when trying to hotwire a bike? What possible purpose does it serve? All through the bike I'm finding things that are absolutely mystifying, its like it was wired by a crack smoking Ducati technician. That said I bought the bike from a Ducati dealer, and it was stolen by a crack addict... so probably says a lot. God bless a dealer who pulls a wiring loom apart and then wraps it back up again using masking tape... nothing quite comes close to discovering your entire wiring loom is now a sticky clump of knotted wiring, as if tracing electrical faults wasn't fun enough...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Dave, I'm due for an oil change in 500 miles ... how did you know :)

I haven't been riding much without the hose, and it's been pouring here today. Drugs were definitely a factor in this attempted theft as well ... the officer told me that the guy tried to steal an umarked cop car from the police station lot right after he got out on bail! I'm thinking what saved me is that my T3 is a little hard to start - I mean, it starts every time, but there's a little procedure to it (choke, start, roll on the throttle and keep it above 1.5K while it warms up) which must be really hard while you are messing with the wires.

One of the things that keeps me wondering is how easily he disengaged the ignition lock - by jamming a screwdriver and turning it? It's slightly damaged but works fine. Any ideas on whether I should replace it or not?
 

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i would replace it, cos as soon as another little oik notices that it has been tampered with, he will get out his own screwdriver and have a go
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I got into a habit of putting a huge yellow wheel lock on the front brake disc when I leave the bike for more than 5 minutes. :( I think a gorilla alarm with 2 way pager is next.
 

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Just remember, the 2-way pager alarms work great in the countryside, but they don't work if there's something like, say, a building between the alarm & the pager. In other words, completely bloody useless in the city.

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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Feel free to stand in awe of my amazing oil diagnosis abilities :D... nah that was a random guess. You can tell if oil needs changing by its smell, but hot oil smells regardless of its condition... when it needs changing its just more noticable. It goes from that rather pleasant warm toasty smell of a hot engine to more and more burnt, then a bad cheese smell when things are really overdue. Used to be a part owner in a performance imports workshop, yanking the dipstick is a fast way to see how an owner treated his car, ya yank it, look at it, smear it, smell it, then dribble a bit on the exhaust and listen to it. If your not sure by then, there's the blotter test and dripping it into water. Tells ya lot about the engine. Allowed me to make better suggestions as to suitable mods, fastidious owners can handle more extreme setups, owners who cant be bothered with oil changes need to stick with simpler, more robust systems because you can guarantee they wont do the maintenance you advise them to, and will be back a few months later complaining.

On the topic though I'd probably suggest doing the next change sooner rather than later, if the pipes been off there'd be an opportunity for grit and crud to get in there, changing the oil a bit sooner would be good for peace of mind.

As for alarms I'm a bit 50/50 on them for bikes. I ride a V-max for my daily commute, and every time I pass by a little scooter in the parking lot, its enough to set off its alarm. Must drive the owner insane, because there's several harleys at my office, his alarm goes off three to four times a day. Saw a while back a replacement for an ignition barrel that basically just blanks it off. You then have a swipe card you put in your pocket, place the reciever under the seat, then every time you sit on the bike it detects the card and allows you to start it. Seems a very elegant solution, especially as stops the key's banging around on the yoke or having to keep the motorbike key seperate from the rest of the chain, but would also horrifically complicate the wiring setup for someone who doesn't know how its all peiced together..

The real trick I think with bikes is wheel locks rather than alarms. Crims can just kick it into neutral then wander off with it, alarms and wiring can then be dealt with at their pleasure. A big hunk of steel hanging off the rotor means if they want it they're gonna have to either carry it, or sit there with an angle grinder.
 

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Actually, a wheel lock doesn't do a whole lot to deter them either. Perhaps they do it differently in Oz, but the technique the pros use in the US involves a 3-person team with a minivan. The driver pulls up next to the target bike, the 2 others jump out, lift the bike into the van, and get back in, the driver takes off, and the bike, locks, alarms, and all, is gone in 30 seconds.

I must admit, I'm not really upset at the low resale value my favorite bikes have on the used market. Parking next to a Beemer is worth 10 alarms. ;)

Edit: Wait, do you mean a heavy lock, or a literal big hunk of steel? Because chaining the bike to something heavy would mean they would need a third person...

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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Nah ur bang on the money kit, Nothing will stop someone if they really want that bike. But locally my biggest problem runs along the line of people who just steal cars and bikes when they want to go somewhere, or those that pinch everything that isn't nailed down. For detering those folk I reckon I'd put my money on a steel lock on the brake rotor, when there's no perfect solution I just go for the one that makes things as difficult as possible, and a brake rotor lock means the bike cant be moved and is a pain to cut off.
 

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Absolutely understood. So your problem (like the OP's) is amateurs, much harder to protect against. Best bet for them is pretty much anything that makes it more of a pain than the next bike up the street, which definitely includes disk locks.

In NYC, there's just no room for the amateurs. It's pretty much all pros after the 5 most popular Japanese bikes and anything with a 5-digit resale value. Here in Austin, I often leave my GPS and radar detector on the bike 'cause there's not much chance they're gonna walk away. :D

Cheers,
-Kit
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The alarm is great alert if you bike got bumped or some kid is sitting on it ... there's nothing worse than come back to see your bike on its side. Much easer to turn on - by a press of a button.

Cheap and quick lock on the rotor can easily go to a compartment under the seat so you always have it. The wheel lock is only good as the lock - and those can be picked. Have you heard about the bike locks that are opened in 10 seconds using a bic pen? When parking overnight in overly shady areas, I always chain two bikes together - or to a lamp post.

Except that one time, of course.
 
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