Yes, I'm referring to myself in the third party. Seemed like a good title. I'll try to document my new bike here and will appreciate input from those with experience to share.
I did a fly-n-ride to New York a couple of weeks ago and rode 1400 miles home to Louisiana, staying just ahead of the winter storm. That was a minor adventure in itself.
This is my first Triumph motorcycle. On the journey home and some subsequent tinkering, I learned a few things:
- Yes, the low beam SUCKS!!!!! It didn't help that it was adjusted to no more than 30 feet ahead;
- No heated grips. Didn't think I'd miss them so much (even with bar muffs temporarily installed and heated glove liners in use.) I guess the NY-based previous owners (2) did not ride in the winter, which is good from a corrosion standpoint.
- Loose steering bearings are in need some attention;
- Surging front brake;
- Rear brake was pathetic. I think the disk got sprayed with chain lube at some point;
- I may have got an oil burner. It goes from the top of the dipstick to the bottom in about 500 miles.
- Got pretty good fuel mileage - between 40 and 50 mpg (US) running at between 75 and 85 (indicated, 70 and 80 actual) most of the time in temps close to freezing.
So far, I've adjusted the lights but not ridden at night again to see how much improvement is still required. Based on what I've read here and what I've done to every other bike I've owned recently, an LED upgrade will be forthcoming. Getting LEDs that work with the existing lights and housing and which don't have failure-prone fans may be an interesting challenge. If anyone has gone this route before I'd love to hear about it -seems most people were worrying about this a few years ago when HID was the best upgrade.
The steering bearings don't seem to be damaged, merely in need of retightening. I found a 38mm socket for the top nut but need to make a tool to handle the castelated nuts underneath.
I scrubbed both brake disks thoroughly with a green Scothchbrite pad and sprayed liberally with brake cleaner. I also polished and applied copper anti-seize to pad retainer pins and cleaned/lubed the rear slider pins. After re-bedding-in, most of the surge has gone and both brakes are much stronger.
I was checking the oil with the dipstick resting in the top of the case threads. It seems this was wrong. Maybe the oil level was dropping because of overfilling. Time will tell I suppose.
In addition to the above work, I stripped the rear suspension linkage for cleaning and greasing after hearing a squeak. The bearings and bushings were all well lubed. It looks like the drop link is rubbing on the drag link, implying something is out of line. Will be checking if the Elka shock is properly aligned (any spacers either side of the top eye) as everything else seems to be in good condition and straight.
The dealership selling the bike said they knew nothing about it's service history. With 20K miles on the clock the second valve inspection is coming up but I have no idea whether the first was completed. Will call to ask for an email of the official Triumph service history but I don't expect that is necessarily all-inclusive. I tried to contact the PO but learned he passed away so that's a dead-end.