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11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So nearly a year ago, I got into the business of fixing up people's bikes for them. I would sometimes "reverse solicit" people who were selling bikes with issues to see if they truly wanted to get rid of it, or were reluctantly getting rid of it because they couldn't afford repairs, to which I would offer my (much cheaper than shops) services.
Well, I came across a guy trying to sell his Speed Four for about $1200. It didn't run, with the fuel pump and battery being suspect. He really wanted to get rid of it, so we parted ways.
A couple months later, he calls me out of the blue offering to sell it to me for $600. I go over with a trailer, casually inspect it, and offer $500.
Amazingly he accepted!! (seriously didn't believe it)

So I go home with my non running, missing a few fairings, clearly been down once but it at least had a clean title Speed Four.

Now, this is the first fuel injected bike I've ever worked on, so I had some learning to do. I start with the easy stuff:
I do an oil change, get a new battery, check/replace the spark plugs (fouled)

So at this point, I hear the fuel pump prime, and I decide to give it a go. No dice.

After lots of reading, I was convinced that the fuel injectors were clogged and that was causing the problems (just like carbs!!!).
Low and behold, they were dirty:

I improvised a cleaning implement using a rubber valve stem, red straw from carb cleaner, and a 9V battery.
Since they were so dirty I decided to check out the fuel pump and fuel filter: I flushed and cleaned out what was left in the tank
I cleaned up the tank, wiping it out entirely, and I cleaned up the sending unit

I tested it out and I got it to hiccup a few times, so I decided to check out the air tubes to see if I had a leak. Unfortunately, I underestimated the durability of the plastic fuel connectors...

I replaced a few hoses (whose order I did with the help of you guys) and got it running enough to go on a test ride.
Well, it ran okay, a little funny, but I knew nothing else about this bike. Well, it turns out that the rectifier/regulator was going out as the bike died as I was approaching my house.

A buddy of mine had a Daytona R/R he no longer needed since he got rid of the bike, and that solved that issue.

So now I have a running Speed Four

I had a nagging low oil light that occasionally went in and out, but I knew everything was fine as I had changed the oil and filter and nothing was leaking. Apparently, when the previous owner dropped it, it bent the plate covering the oil pressure sensor, which broke the end of it so that it would occasionally make proper contact. I replaced that. So now everything is in order, no low oil light, no check engine light, rides a little funny, but I'll deal with it later.
But it just didn't look right without the rest of the plastics.... so I ordered what I could off eBay

Now it just looks completely crappy, especially with the previous owner's flaking spray paint job.
After much deliberation, I decided to get the bike painted. Luckily, I'm part of a good helpful sportbike riding group and one of the guys offered to paint the bike for me.....if I did the sanding myself.
So on to sanding!

Clearly the color of this bike is everlasting gobbstopper. Red, green, lighter green, yellow (this is the color the bike shows on the title)...

I used whatever color my buddy had on hand, which fortunately was Dodge Electric Blue Pearl, which is fairly close to the Triumph Blue the Speed Four came in

Paint makes a huge difference....

Well I finally had the bike together and running, but it was late and I didn't want to wake the neighbors with a loud aftermarket exhaust, so I decided to get fresh gas the next day....
Which turned into a few days later because the fuel pump decided that it was just done with me.

Well fortunately my new pump came in fast and I was able to get it on. To try to fix the weird throttling behavior, I did the weird (to me) ECU reset thing where you let the bike idle for 12 minutes (I mowed the front yard while I let it idle). I then went for a ride.
Night and day difference. Like seriously.

So after about a year of casually working on it, I now have a running Triumph Speed Four

I'm currently trying to sell it, but after riding it last night, I'm torn. My Honda 599 is clearly jealous, and I don't need another 600, so we'll see what offers I get on it.

I would like to thank you guys though. Information on the Speed Four wasn't easy to come by, and I'm certain that some of my questions probably sounded stupid (hose order on the air box, can I clean my injectors myself), but in the end, I don't think I could have done this without you guys.
I figured that the least I could do was to share my story.

Super Moderator
8,918 Posts
Well done, and a great story! You will have to sell it soon or it will grow on you. Then selling it will be harder and harder. Just saying.

Premium Member
24,199 Posts
Inspiring! It's great to see a forgotten Triumph resurrected!

I love my Speed Four, but it sits in the back corner of the garage, blocked by three other bikes, and gets exercised the least.

Need to change that!
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