Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Thats gotta hurt!

Practice makes perfect so up to the quarry on Saturday to get used to the bike over the bigger rocks, I also took the chance to fine tune the carb. The Villiers set up I have is just about spot on but a little movement on the airscrew coupled with the lower gearing had the bike moving very slowly, smoothly and consistently on tickover especially on descents the trip to the quarry also gave me chance to ride with the new tank for the first time, I wanted to make sure that it was clean inside so i ran THREE fuel filters! and it gave me the opportunity to find out how much fuel the tank held, as it turns out a little under 3 litres of which about a half litre is reserve, more than enough for a single venue trial.

Full of optimism that even a rain fall of Biblical proportions could not dent  I set off at Addingham Moorside for Yorkshire classics second Championship round.
The venue is notoriously rocky and peaty so I set off early to get the best of the sections blazing a trail yet avoiding the gooey mess that some sections would inevitably become.
The first was a simple affair in and out and over some benign rockey and although the second was a staple of the venue I fell foul of it and dropped into the stream and stopped dead... ouch. A precautionary dab on the third then a run of cleans until i three'd my way out of Mick Driifield's steep rock gully and that was it for that lap.  I cleaned the tricky 7th and found a cracking route in 8 up and over a massive boulder that others rode around section 8 I chose the hard route as the clubmans route had some tight turns to avoid the loose rocks that I personally felt comfortable riding over, lap 2 was even better I only dropped the one until section 8 when disaster struck,  the clutch seemed to drag then the rear brake locked on , going up hill,, and ouch the chain wrapped itself around the gearbox sprocket and lifted the chain case up destroying the lugs on the gearbox..

I had the bike to bits in a jiffy but could nt find anything obviously amiss until I put it together again and noticed that the rear wheel had about 20mm of sideways and vertical movement even when bolted up tight.. I assumed the Sherco alloy spindle had cried enough

Back home  I had the thing in bits and I had to apologise to the spindle, it had borne its weight and more in the breakdown, the culprit was the nearside rear wheel bearing which had had a catastrophic failure. The inner race had totally separated from the bearings and outer cage causing the rear wheel to move which lead to the chain jumping which preceded the destroyed gearbox mountings.

A couple of phone calls firstly to Simon Bateman Namtab who promised all the clutch bits and bobs would be in the post later that day and to the benevolent Ady Brayshaw who agreed to sort some alloy welding of the gearbox lugs with the box in situ.. that though will have to wait till next week as this week other projects dominate! in the meantime the pics show clearly the damage to the gearbox lugs and the clutch been stripped down ready for Simon's delivery!

As for the trial another great trial from Yorkshire classic and befitting of the best pre 65 trials club in the country, a decent entry in horrble weather at a venue renowned for rocks all the sections were rideable yet challenging and all cleanable with care and skill and a half decent bike!

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Chain reaction

One of the issues carried over from the original bike was ''what exactly is the chain size'' and the state of the rear sprocket. The chain was a Renolds with no size markings and an old 420 seemed the right thing but it was hard to state 100% as the rear sprocket was so well worn, however a new 420 chain was just a fraction too tight on the teeth, it fitted but was a little 'clingy' so we used a 428 std  chain in its place
This was ok although the clearance for the spring link was a little fine so rather than have the link to the outside it was mounted inboard temporarily.

Wanting a final solution I was prepared to put new chain and rear sprocket on, the only issue been where to get a sprocket certainly not off the shelf and then from the inter-web up popped  'Sprockets Unlimited'

All they asked was that I choose chain size .. 428 easy that bit, No. of teeth.. well original was 58 but as as some old wag at a trial suggested it was a tad highly geared I plumped for 60 this time.  centre diameter.. now the original is a SUNG fit round the brake and even has a little machined off to make way for the bolts so out with the micrometer and a figure was agreed (after measuring 5 times to be certain) Then the bolt centres... again measured five times, they have to be spot on..

I've recommended other suppliers on this site before but these guys take the top award,  in less than a week the thing arrived absolutely SPOT ON no margin of error whatsoever . It bolted straight on, very impressed. and the extra two teeth only add 8mm to the diameter so only the engine will know the difference.

As I bolted the wheel back in I took the time to add a 3mm spacer to the drive side spacer just to move the chain over and more easily clear the clutch case. If this is succesful I'll machine new spacers for the rear axle, I'm especially keen to make the one for the offside like a cup to offer some protection to the exposed bearing on that side of the hub.

Friday, 4 February 2011

night of the big hammer..

Having  a vaulted ceiling space in the garage has been great for storage it does though have two downsides, firstly when the heating is on it rises up to the eaves keeping the pogo sticks, strimmer et al nice and cosy whilst I suffer in the cold! Secondly although a couple of 58 watt 1.5 meter strip lights are okay, they don't give all the light I crave. Armed with half a dozen sheets of plaster board 10 down lighter and 25m of two core 1.5mm cable and a wiring diagram from my sparky I set to work, and now I have a half complete ceiling complete with 5 down lights over the work bench and I can see clearly ( which is certainly not the verdict my optician offered this morning!)

Following last weeks very rocky trial at Nab End  near Sowerby Bridge I've a couple of issues to deal with.  The new bike stuff,  are the steering bolt needs re adjusting as it comes loose and yet the bolt does'nt seem to have turned so I assume that the taper rollers are bedding further in through the grease, tightening it all up isn't an issue though loosen the yolk bolts, the top snitch bolt and away you go.. 30 seconds of a work plus an hour talking to a neighbour and the jobs done.

There is a pretty nasty noise coming from the chain case so that will have to come off I suspect that the  case isn't on quite right and one of the edges is touching the clutch basket.

The only damage in the trial was to the rear brake lever it took a bite out of a Yarkshire rock and came off second best, so out with the lump hamme, off with the arm and into the big vice, a bit of swearing and hey presto as good as new!

total cost for the weekend
£ 10 join club ( annual fee)
£ 10 entry fee
£ 2.60 2 litres of petrol

Even bigger hammer called for!!
The nasty chaincase noise has been resolved ( hopefully), whipping the cover off the damage was easily visible. The 37a chaincase has little in the way of clearance for the clutch basket and the tangs of the clutch plates and for reasons unknown the little blighters had been rubbing on the inner chaincase. A bit of head scratching and the solution/ reason  wasn't obvious until I tried to refit the case and it would'nt quite go back. The lower case guard at the front of the engine had obviously taken a bit of a thump and moved the outer back by a couple of mm. So in true Yorkshire style out with a delicate lump hammer and seven bells of s##t later and it was back in place allowing the case to be refitted exactly right and thus no more nasty noise .. ding dong!
In metal working mode I had a long bout of a good case of looking at as the brake rod caught my eye and it rubbed the rod in the shock so in the vice with it a natty kink was added and it looks good and does the job

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

first time out...

Having had extensive post build testing (started bike and pushed it in the back of van) I lugged the bike up to Yorkshire Classic  1st Championship round at Deer Park/ Lady Lane Bingley. 2011 trials
Renowned for rocks and slippy climbs it would prove a decent testing ground  and so it did .

Been the first round of the year there was a fantastic turnout from dabbers such as octogenarian Bill Hill to respected modern bike riders like James Noble, as well as the usual eclectic mix of former works riders, collectors, enthusiastic hopefuls and those who should know better.
The bikes reflect that to, for all the issues elsewhere on eligibility, here's a sensible approach with everything from very trick 2011 cubs to pulled out of the barn oily rigids all broadly within the clubs clear rules.

With riding a new bike and with the venue having a reputation as getting tougher the later you ride I set off smartly and was probably in the first three to do the first half dozen sections. At that point it was obvious that the clutch was slipping badly and that the rear wheel needed tightening up so a quick ride back to the van had the clutch adjusted and the rear spindle adjusted and we were off ( a little too quickly!) the next sections were on the long ride out over the moor in the stream that in previous years had dried up to an almost desert like state of loose dry rocks. However as global warming slips by West Yorkshire the stream was FULL of water and proved a decent test on the steep slippy climb out.

Now the quick 'pit stop' played its hand as I started the second lap and just before I started section 4 with its very steep descent I looked down and saw the rear brake steady was loose ( come off actually) so returned to the van for more 'tweaking' ie new bolts! official photos of the trial

So for a first time out the bike had had some drama but overall the ride was positive the longer wheel base over the Banvill was noticeable on helping to keep to a line and yet the bike still turned well and without the front wheel tucking in. the engine, been a direct transfer was brilliant, I could' nt ask for more (I've no doubt others might but for a dabber it was more than adequate) the fork angle was commented on as steep but having given it a good coat of looking at I think that's down to the yolks which pull the stanchions in a smidge.( don't know if you can see in the snaps.) I do have another pair of billet yolks in the workshop but unless its a problem that's where they will stay.

 So back home quick wash of the bike oil the chain and shes ready to go again.. who said old Brit bikes need lots of attention... as for the rider  Doh! must do better, lose weight, pay attention, get fit, practice more...  the usual excuses.. importantly theres always tomorrow.

Without the file to hand I've put some snaps on from Keighley Gate Preunit trial at the end of last year.. the keen eyed will spot the money grabbing observers building thier college fund!