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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

I've just joined the forum, although I think I was actually a member back in the early noughties when I first got my 1997 Speed Triple!

Anyway - I've recently become the custodian of a 1965 Tiger 100SS and a 1969 T120R. Both of these bikes belonged to my F-i-L who sadly passed away last year, he owned them both since the early 70s. I've known the bikes for a long time, but I've never had to actually look after them. They've both been say unused for >2 years now, but prior to that they were ridden fairly often and in pretty good shape.

I'd like to get them back on the road ASAP, starting with the Bonnie. I'll try and roll them out into the sunshine and get some pics soon, but at the moment my garage is crammed full of 5 bikes and as UK members will attest the weather has been bloody awful lately!

My question is, what would you check/change on the bike as a first port of call? I'm guessing all new oil and petrol and new carb jets? What else besides the 'obvious'? I've got the original owners' and workshop manuals plus a crate full of imperial spanners now.

P.S. This particular Bonnie has high compression pistons and hot cams, plus I've never kick started a bike before. Not sure I'll ever get it going:p
 

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Howdy! Condolences on the passing of your Father-in-law.

No need for new carb jets, just drop the float bowls and CLEAN the jets (and carbs in general)

Yes, fresh fuel & oil, you'll need a fresh battery if it has electronic ignition; might fire right up with the old battery if it has a fat blue capacitor that's still good (disconnect the battery).

As far as kicking it, FIRST, pull in the clutch and stab the kicker till it slips free of the clutch.

Then, kick slowly till you come up to compression, then JUST past that point. Next kick it with all your weight, and ALL THE WAY DOWN. Clear your leg as soon as you get to the bottom in case of kickback (or take it like a man)
 

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As Paul says plus, once it runs, get new tyres and tubes.
2 year layup and it should run OK without needing any dismantling. i would drop a little oil into the spark plug holes while checking the plugs.
Use a 20/50 oil for air cooled twins or V-twin oil. Ep 80/90 gear oil for transmission and if bought in 500cc bottle, that is the right amount. Drain the primary using a syringe with a piece of screenwasher tube attached and put the tube down through the filler hole. Much easier than messing around with the drain plug on that. You might like to oil cables after the initial getting it going and check all fixings. Nice pair of bikes to keep and use.
 

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Hi Mr D,

I've a '72 T100R and a 73 TR7RV - the single carb 750 Bonnie. I am slightly mobility impaired (after spinal surgery - I didn't drop a bike - honest!) but I can kick start both of them on the centre stand. Some say not to start a bike on the stand, but I'll fall over if I don't.

As GPZ says, free the clutch and get it just past compression - that gives you a chance to get the crank spinning before the next compression. I'd also pull the plugs and with them laid on the cylinder head, but connected, kick the engine over a few times to see if you have sparks at the plugs. If not, you've some investigating to do - depends on whether you have points or electronic ignition. Have a look under the circular cover on the rh side (timing side). If you have sparks, carry on. If not, find out why and sort that first.

Once you've got sparks (given that we live in the UK), tickle both carbs until petrol runs out (and use fresh fuel too), give them full choke, and kick them over a few times with the ignition off. Then tickle again, ignition on, and proceed as per GPZ's method.

That way you should be sure of having plenty of fuel vapour in the cylinders and if they are going to fire, you should get some sign of life. Once you have them running, it's a matter of finding out what each likes for breakfast. Some like choke, some don't. Some like a twist of throttle, some don't. You just have to find out by trial and error, for both the hot and cold condition.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Cheers Peeps.

The T120 has Boyer (sic) ignition, my FiL has stapled the wiring diagram for it into the owners manual. Not sure about the Tiger.

What is the story with chains? Adjustment I'm assuming is just like a modern bike, but will it be sealed?

As for tyres...do most bike tyre places deal with tubes on wire spoke wheels? Or do you guys change your own?
 

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Chains: I put the bike on the centre stand and then waggle the chain up and down in the middle of the bottom run and look for about 2" total movement - so 1" up and 1" down. If it's too slack. loosen the big nuts on the back axle and then tighten the adjuster nuts on the end of the rear forks. I also check that the rear axle is running parallel to the swinging arm spindle when I adjust the chain. Measure the distance centre to centre either side and adjust accordingly.

Boyer ignitions need good batteries to get the engine to run.

Can't help you with the tubes - I have changed my own in the past but I'm a bit old for that now. I have a tame local wheel builder who's rebuilt all my wheels and fitted tyres and tubes as needed.
 

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A lot of bike tyre people will fit tubes. (It's a knack that isn't hard to acquire but best done when it's warm) but I have found that most of them won't be able to balance a wheel with a spindle in it.
DIY balance is simple - just use the bike and use a bit of chalk to find any consistent heavy spot
 

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I always fit my own tyres and tubes and it does require a bit of strength and i have my wife helping with the levers. I use 5 long tyre levers on a normal tyre change on 18 and 19 inch tyres. This week i changed a tubeless scooter tyre and that was quite a hard job.
I do have a good local tyre fitting repair shop nearby but i just like doing my own.
Exceptions being the 240 width new bike tyres on my big bikes. i take the wheel into a shop.
 

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Hi Mr Dazzle,
Sorry to hear about your father in law, I think it is wonderful that you are preserving his legacy.

You would do well to search for posts by @StuartMac containing "waking the sleeping beast"

Do not worry about kick starting, it is more technique than strength and you have already been put on the right track. I have a 900cc converted Triumph with High compression, I am 55 kg wet (120lb), I have to jump a little to get momentum but can start it easily hot or cold..
Kickstarting is just cool, that’s why they pretend to kickstart moderrn Jap multis in the movies.

Triumphs are renowned for being easy 1 kick starters; (unless someone is watching?)

you need to be careful, old Triumphs have a way of stealing your heart ?

regards
Peg
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Weather forecast for this weekend is sunny, so I will try and get them out to have a proper look. They arrived on a van two weeks ago in the pouring rain and I've not had a chance to see them since.

You're right about them charming people though. FiL owned the Bonnie since '72 and it was literally the first thing mentioned is his will:D I hadn't seen it properly for a number of years until we loaded it onto a van, I forgot how pretty a bike she is.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Managed to start her up yesterday(y).

I followed the above advice about sparks and method. I think my technique needs a little work, was about 50 kicks to get it running:D You really have to mean it.

I turned the fuel taps off and let it run to cut out, mostly because that's what my FiL always did. Is that right?

Initial observations...

  • She wouldn't idle without a bit of throttle.
  • Left spark plug is pretty black, but not hugely clogged up. Right is dark but not as much.
  • Real wheel goes 'round even in nuetral. You can hold it on the brake with the engine still running.
  • The amps shown on the dials flap around all over the place. It shows 0 (needle straight up) with ignition on, then fluctuates quickly when running. Didn't get a chance to measure independently with my multimeter.
  • I'm not sure what the ignition is. It's got a clearly modern black box by the battery and the Zener diode doesn't appear to be connected.
  • Front forks seem to have a clunk when you bounce on the front brake.
  • Brake lever comes back to the bar. Well technically not the bar, it hits the throttle cable.
All in all I don't think I discovered any disasters:D


 

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Well done! That. Looks. Gorgeous. Clearly a much-loved bike. I think it's missing the chrome trim disc off this side of the front wheel, but that's trivial.

They do need a good prod, and you have to commit, but once you get the knack it'll be easy, 2 or 3 kicks max. If it takes more, there's something wrong. Ignore the plugs for now until you have some miles on it. Running the carbs dry is good, as it reduces the potential for the residual fuel to evaporate in the carbs and clog up the jets, particularly the pilot jet. Modern fuels don't get on with old bikes so running it dry is good, but a pain. If the tank's not been epoxy lined, don't leave fuel in it too long or over the winter unused. It's the ethanol. If you use 97 octane, AIUI there's less or no ethanol in that atm, but I hear they are going to increase the ethanol content of all fuels.

They often don't idle well until they're warm, I'd aim for not less than 1000 rpm, maybe 1200.

My rear wheels spin idly too - nothing to worry about. The ammeters are useless, mine did that too. If the Zener's not connected it's probably got a black box rectifier/regulator to manage the AC volts from the alternator and convert those to DC for charging the battery etc

Forks maybe need oil? Looking at the overall condition I'd be surprised if there was a problem with the forks - your FiL clearly loved that bike.

Front brake cable needs taking up a bit maybe? If its a twin leading shoe, (2 levers on the drum connected by a rod) they can take a bit of setting up, but when you get it right, they are very good indeed.

I'd be very proud of that bike, join the Owners Club and show it off. And no VED or MOT either.

Others will be along to drool shortly........
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's 8" twin leading shoe. They work when you're pushing the bike around but that's obviously a long way from actually riding.

As you will see from the photo I have a few bikes and not much garage!:p I need to sell that VFR and tidy up to get some space for working on the Triumphs. Then I can focus on actually getting out on the Bonnie.
 

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Looks like cable adjustment then. There's guidance on the forums for adjusting twin leading shoe brakes if you need it - basically, they both have to work at the same time and there's adjustment on the connecting rod for that.

The TLS will never be as good as a modern disc with ABS etc, but it's a 50 year old bike. And they are simple to work on. No diagnostics, no ECU to fool you. Just lawnmower simple mechanicals and a few wires. If I can strip and re-build them, anyone can.

You'll need some neck oil too. For the grin. And nodding at other riders who recognise what they see. Ride it like it's a 50 year old bike, listen for the exhaust note bouncing back off walls and bridge parapets, and keep an eye out for old blokes like me watching you ride past. Get a Barbour jacket and an open face helmet, and enjoy. Magic. Go and ride it.
 

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Hi,

:( I was also sorry to read about your father-in-law's passing.

search for posts by @StuartMac containing "waking the sleeping beast"
Also sorry for being late to the party here - Waking The Sleeping Beast. It was originally written for triple owners; much of the advice can be applied to twins, except:-

. because twin crankcases have a smaller volume than triples', I reduce the oil quantity in to ~1 pint;

. only on very late '69 or later twins can the oil go into the crankcase through the primary as described; earlier twins, it needs to go in either through the timing hole or a rocker-box and down the pushtod tube.

was about 50 kicks to get it running
You're depressing both tickler buttons 'til fuel just starts to run out?

I also open the throttle just a tiny bit when electric- or kick-starting. However, if kicking, I don't open the throttle any more as I kick - Amals don't have accelerator pumps.

If it doesn't start within a few kicks, I check if the ticklers need depressing again to restore the high fuel level.

Otoh, if it doesn't start within a few kicks after that, the mixture might then be over-rich ... :rolleyes: I kick it a few times with WOT and then start again with the tickler buttons ...

If the bike hasn't been used for a while (ime much less than two years), they can take a few more kicks to start ... :whistle:

She wouldn't idle without a bit of throttle.
They don't when cold; particularly contemporary Japanese bikes had something operated by the choke that either also raised the slide(s) or opened the butterfly/ies.

Left spark plug is pretty black, but not hugely clogged up. Right is dark but not as much.
If you haven't discovered it already, be aware the Amal "choke" (air) lever works the opposite way from Japanese (most other?) bikes' - slack wire is air slides down ("choke on"), tight wire is air slides up ("choke off").

Real wheel goes 'round even in nuetral. You can hold it on the brake with the engine still running.
Yep, the engine always spins the primary, which'll spin the gearbox in neutral, the oil in the gearbox will cause the driven gears to spin in neutral.

The first time you engage first gear, I advise doing it with the bike on the centrestand. Triumph clutch plates have a habit of sticking when left for some time. The first time you engage first gear, if the rear wheel rotates in time with the engine pulses, and the engine stalls when you try to hold it on the brake, the clutch plates are stuck even if you pull in the clutch lever. Simple to fix. (y)

The amps shown on the dials flap around all over the place.
'Fraid "They All Do That, Sir" ... Neither use nor ornament on a twin (or single). :(

not sure what the ignition is. It's got a clearly modern black box by the battery and the Zener diode doesn't appear to be connected.
Pictures? If the Zener isn't connected, could be the bike also has a combined regulator/rectifier, that also replaced the original separate rectifier.

Or what you're thinking is electronic ignition is the reg./rec.? The roughly-heart-shaped cover over the right-hand side (looking forward) of the crankcase, see the small circular cover attached by two screws? If you remove them, either two sets of points or an electronic ignition trigger will be underneath. Picture?

If there are points under that circular cover, and the Zener is disconnected, more likely the "black box by the battery" is a reg./rec. Either way, ignition and battery-charging (reg./rec.) are two separate systems.

Front forks seem to have a clunk when you bounce on the front brake.
Try draining the oil in the legs, that'll show if there's any in there? Or you might need to take the forks apart to check a couple of things; there's a part that, if it's fitted upside-down, causes the symptom you've described. :(

Brake lever comes back to the
throttle cable.
8" twin leading shoe.
Easy to adjust with the factory Third Hand tool :rolleyes: ... or an assistant. ;)

Hth.

Regards,
 
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