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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,

I've been off the forum for a year or so as I've been distracted by a number of projects that have been cluttering my garage for the past 10 years. I now have my 76 Honda CB200 ( stop laughing! ) that I have owned for 34 years back in one piece and both of my CZ's back on the road, one had a complete engine rebuild.

It's interesting to spend time obsessing about something other than my Triumph ( 78 Tiger 750 ) but the old girl just turned 40 and here in the UK that means no MOT or road tax is required :smile2: so as she is insured I woke her from her slumber and have been back on the road for a couple of weeks. Fantastic to be back on the bike and she feels like a jet compared to my CZ's!

Jumping back on the Triumph reminded me of how strange the UK bars feel, I find they bend in towards the tank a touch too much? Unless I am imagining it I'm sure I read somewhere the UK police had a hand in the bars profile, maybe they chose a shape suitable for high speed work? I could with a pair that are still flat but without so much bend inwards towards the tank.

If anyone feels the same about the bars as myself and has found a pair that suits them I'd be interested to hear about them.

One other thing, rather predictably the battery seems to be the only item to have suffered during the slumber, I did remove it and charge it every so often but my Optimate charger seems to think it is knackered but the bike seems happy with it ie. starts first kick, lights work etc. The bike has totaly standard factory electrics, I wondered if it might be wise to replace it? If so any battery type recommendations would be welcome.

Thanks, Tom.
 

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Being in the USA, my T140E came with the high bars. I don't like the looks of them so switched to what it called the "Western Bar"
(Part#97-1870) These were used on US Bonnevilles from 1966-1970. I really like the way they look and they're also very comfortable.

Here's a photo of my bike with the Western bars.



This page has a lot of good info on handlebars;

http://www.britcycle.com/Products/Handlebars/handlebars.htm
 

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Hi Tom,

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,
:agree 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 ... :whistle); 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. :thumb

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-vintage-and-veteran/842306-battery-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; :rolleyes: 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. :thumb

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Blimey is it really over two years since I posted!

Cheers Bart that website gives a nice comparison of bar shapes, your bars look great and super relaxed but I want to retain a more UK/european look.

Stuart looks like my battery is toast, voltage was 10.6v when I checked and drops to 9 with the lights on. Looks like the optimate was correct.

Voltage rises to 14.6v at 3500rpm, it starts and runs fine but it's obviously not worth risking so I'll replace it. MandP are selling Motobatt batteries very competively on ebay, anyone had any experience of these batteries

Stuart do you remember what the BSA bars were exactly?
 

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Voltage rises to 14.6v at 3500rpm, it starts and runs fine but it's obviously not worth risking so I'll replace it. MandP are selling Motobatt batteries very competively on ebay, anyone had any experience of these batteries
The experience with these batteries has been great for me, they do not apear to self discharge, so they always seem ready to go-even after several months sitting. I have no need of a battery charger now.
Since I changed to motobatt I have never had to replace one, on several bikes over several years.
They have been good for me, I just wish they came in a more subtle colour

Regards
Peg
 

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Motobat or Yuasa for me! Agree with you on the Motobat colour though Peg ?

On the suggestion of leaving the ignition on for 15 minutes: if you have points ignition, disconnect the LT circuit or there is a chance you can burn your points out, depending upon where your points cam is when you do this of course.

Cheers
Ian
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Think I'll give the motobatt a go.

My Tiger was registered in March 1978 but built Nov 1977. I believe changes were made to the electrical systems of Bonnies in 78, neg earth, rita ignition, uprated alternator, better switch gear etc. which is causing some battery suppliers suggesting different batteries.

I'm pretty sure however the Tiger was left alone meaning it was withdrawn from the US market as points ignition couldn't keep the bike in perfect tune long enough to pass emissions testing?

The battery I'm pretty sure will be ok is the Motobatt MB9U ( 11ah ) I think the original batteries were ( 8ah ) so I'm just checking this is OK.

Good point ( no pun intended ) regarding leaving the ignition on Boggie, I've done this a couple of times by mistake resulting in a very warm coil, seems to have survived though. I think it's the coil rather than the points that gets fried in such instances?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've attempted to add an image of my bars.

I would like to source a pair that brings the ends approx 2 inches forward whilst remaining fairly level to the ground.
 

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I go to swap meets ( auto jumbles over there I think) and pick up used handlebars from motocross and enduro type bikes. Many are the lower profile type, similar to cafe style, with very little rise. Many dirt riders swap them out for their personal preference, and they’re usually quite cheap. I usually have to cut a bit off to fit the bike through my door, but that turns out to be about the length I like anyway. Just lay them on a flat surface to verify that they’re straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Yes Duc I'm off to the biggest autojumble of them all in october 'Stafford', if I can't find a pair I like there I won't find a pair anywhere! I'll whip them off the bike and take them to compare.

If any of you fellas outside the UK ever visit try to time it for a Stafford bike autojumble, they are two day events in Oct and April and to do them justice you do need two days. If you need to sell the idea to your good ladies there are plenty of Stately Homes within an hour of Stafford including Chatsworth.

Anyone out there have an opinion on my battery question?
 

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Nothing on bars but you're confused about the electrical changes

The changes were made in 78 but only because the 79 model year starts at the end of 78.
Any 78 bike would have been the same as a 77
 

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Hi Tom,

bars.
would like to source a pair that brings the ends approx 2 inches forward whilst remaining fairly level to the ground.
do you remember what the BSA bars were exactly?
'Fraid I don't, and I don't have access to 'em in the near future. :( However, if they weren't them, 65-4960 on the BCS website are very close; maybe try for comparison?

On the ones I tried, the 'bars were in the clamps so the part at each end was "fairly level to the ground"; in this configuration, the bends closest to the clamps went a little forward as well as rose, but then the actual rise between clamps and end parts will be less than the 2-3/4" in the BCS image?

That's what makes me think the ones I tried were 65-4960 or very similar; if they are, and your bike's existing 'bars are likely similar to 97-7041, the BCS images and dimensions suggest that'll give you your "ends approx 2 inches forward"?

looks like my battery is toast,
:( At least rectifier and Zener look like they're still doing what they're supposed to. :thumb

My Tiger was registered in March 1978 but built Nov 1977. I believe changes were made to the electrical systems of Bonnies in 78, neg earth, rita ignition, uprated alternator, better switch gear etc.

I'm pretty sure however the Tiger was left alone meaning it was withdrawn from the US market as points ignition couldn't keep the bike in perfect tune long enough to pass emissions testing?
Mmmm ...:-

. US FMVSS regs. applied to twins built after 31st December 1977 required several changes, notably lower emissions and lights-on-with-ignition.

. As you say, the single-carb. TR7RV wasn't exported to the US after that date. Initially, Meriden built a US-only version of the Bonny known as the T140E, incorporating Mk.2 Amals attached to a version of the single-carb. head (because it had parallel inlet ports), frame venting into the engine and engine venting into the airbox and an earlier Lighting toggle switch wired differently; apart from that, the '78 T140E was exactly the same as the '78 T140V still produced for the ROW - 'positive earth' electrics, points ignition, same alternator and switches bar the Lighting switch.

. Meriden then superseded both T140V and '78 T140E with the '79 T140E from calendar July 1978, this incorporating the aforementioned engine changes and also 'negative earth', electronic (Lucas Rita) ignition; the alternator and rectifier were changed to 3-phase but the alternator was still rated the same 10.5A @ 5,000 rpm as the supersed RM21 single-phase - the advantage of 3-phase was/is it produced/s more of the power at lower rpm; the handlebar switch clusters were essentially the same as those fitted to the electric-start Commando in '75; top yoke, speedo. 'n' tacho. mounting, ignition switch and idiot lamps mounting were from the '75 T160.

. The single-carb. model(s) got all the same changes except Mk.2 carb., so it was likely it was the Mk.1 Amal and/or tickling that precluded them from the US market '78-on, so the US also didn't see either the TR7T or the TR65.

some battery suppliers suggesting different batteries.
Meriden/Lucas specified the same 8-9 Ah battery for all 12V non-electric-start bikes from '66 to the last in '83(?); only electric-start models (T160 and twins) had bigger batteries.

MB9U is pretty-much the same physical size as the aforementioned Lucas battery; that modern batteries are 11 AH rather than 8 Ah or 9 Ah is simply an indication of the advances in lead-acid battery tech. in forty years. Have to say, on that basis, were I limited to non-electric-start twins, I'd go for a physically-smaller battery with a similar Ah to the original.

In addition to Motobatt and Yuasa, I've had good, long service from Vartas.

On the suggestion of leaving the ignition on for 15 minutes: if you have points ignition, disconnect the LT circuit
Errr ... no ... how is it any sort of 'Load Test' of the battery if components that draw between a third and a half of all the power in normal use are disconnected for the test? :Darn

By all means check that any component - not just coil(s) and points - isn't overheating during the test but disconnecting them rather defeats the object of the exercise.

done this a couple of times by mistake resulting in a very warm coil, seems to have survived though. I think it's the coil rather than the points that gets fried in such instances?
If "the coil ... gets fried in such instances", there was fault anyway. Any heat generated is a function of the coil's primary resistance and the Volts across it; any coil switched by points must tolerate variations in temperature simply because points are a crude mechanically-driven switch, completely unrelated to the coil's charge time. On a road vehicle, a coil will become hottest when the vehicle's at a standstill; I've never seen any stated limit to how long a Lucas coil fitted to our old heaps should or shouldn't remain connected; therefore, beyond its time to charge completely, the assumption must be that a coil can radiate any heat generated normally.

Hth.

Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Yes looks like I was fretting over nothing regarding the electrical changes, I've ordered the Motobatt.

The BSA 65_4960 bars look just the ticket and when you compare the picture to the UK bars the angle of the bars is stark, I'll take a look at the stallholder list going to Stafford and drop some emails to BSA parts suppliers to see if they might bring a pair?

Maybe Triumph had a good reason to fit such bars but I think it's worth trying a different pair as they have always niggled me.
 

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Hi Tom,
More info below on why you should avoid leaving the ignition in for long periods:

https://www.quora.com/Is-it-bad-to-leave-the-car-on-without-the-engine-running

https://www.google.com/amp/s/answers.yahoo.com/amp/qna/20070923111153AALTB9m

I believe Coils, points and condensers are all at risk. However, I have only ever personally experienced points being damaged by extended time with the ignition on without running the engine:

Working on a friend's Ford Cortina about a millennia ago, trying to trace an electrical fault on his brake light circuit. It took a little while to find (at least 10 minutes with ignition on) but we found and fixed the (loom) issue. However, then the car would not start. That took longer to figure out than the original problem; how could what we were doing affect the car starting?! As it was also raining, with the bonnet open and we found that we had no spark, we started drying HT leads, spraying WD40 etc but no joy. Finally went to check points and found they had burned out and were no longer making the connection. We had to wait until the next day (this was on a Sunday afternoon in the days when everything was shut) before we could get new points but that fixed it.

I assume the points were open a tiny bit and were arcing? Who knows.... I now never leave points ignition on for extended periods without disconnecting the LT circuit.

Cheers,
Ian
 
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