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17th November 2010


Old Bike Bits 'n' Bats, November 2010
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It's fettling season in the shed! Here's a selection of classic bike components, upgrades and accessories to accelerate your spannering sessions...

The Right Tool

If the only tool in your box is a hammer, then every problem will look like a nail! So before you start to strip down your P&J, it might be an idea to check that you have the correct special tools for the task to hand. Thunderbird Spares specialise in new components for post-war to 1985 Triumph and BSA bikes, and they also have an entire section on their site dedicated to special tools for special jobs.

Not to scale, obviously, Unless you need to lube some very thick cables....

Some items are specific to just one task, like a gudgeon pin extractor, ignition timing tool, oil seal remover or clutch puller. Others will come in handy time and again, like a cable oiler, feeler gauge set, or timing disc. See www.thunderbirdspares.com for the full range of Thunderbird Spares' components, and follow the link to Special Tools for more.

Boxer Bits

Isn't it about time you gave your BMW some fresh oil and changed the filters? Motorworks have made it easy for you by supplying service kits for all common models going back three decades or more. These kits contain everything you need to give your Boxer its regular 5000 miles service, apart from fluids, and include contact breaker, rocker cover gaskets, air filter, spark plugs, oil filter and gasket plus various crush washers. You can swap to K&N filters if fitted or choose platinum or iridium plugs over the standard Bosch items.

Which reminds me....
Airheads on Now...

Airhead Boxer service kits cost between £30 and £40 depending on model, and kits are also available for later BMWs including four-cylinder machines. Motorworks can also supply oils, and can ship to many overseas locations as well as the UK.

See www.motorworks.co.uk or call 0845 458 0077.

Dyno-might for Nortons

Not to scale, obviously....Norvil have recently commissioned a steel version of the magdyno gear for Norton singles (part number 463121) and the dynamo gear for pre-1958 Norton Dominator twins (part number 002246). Both gears are priced at £38.50 plus VAT (worldwide delivery available).

Call 01543 278008 or see www.norvilmotor cycle.co.uk (and don't forget to ask for your FREE spares catalogue or CD which contains another 4000 useful Norton and Norvil components).

Posh Pistons

Spurred on by a shortage of decent quality replacement pistons for the popular Triumph Trident and Rocket 3 triples, Norman Hyde has commissioned a production run made to his own specifications. You may know that Norman worked as the development engineer in charge of the Trident project in Triumph's Experimental Department during the late 1960s and early 1970s, so he has considerable experience with these machines. The new pistons have been made to the original drawings, but using modern materials with more precise tolerances for both pistons and rings.

Not to scale. Although, actualy... Anyone got a ruler?

Over the official seven year production run more than 27,000 Rocket3/Tridents rolled off the lines at Small Heath and Meriden and a significant proportion of these are still on the road, some having covered substantial mileages. Therefore piston assemblies are available in standard; +.020" and +.040" sizes. Hyde's pistons will fit both T150 and T160 Triumph models, as well as the BSA Rocket 3. Each kit contains three rings, pins & circlips, and retails for £232.65 including VAT, plus delivery. Call 01926 832345 or see www.normanhyde.co.uk

Zap That Batt!

It's a good idea to give your bike's battery a regular shot of extra sparks if you're not riding it so much throughout the winter. Paul Goff stocks a battery charger which was specifically designed to suit the smaller batteries fitted to motorcycles. (Car chargers aren't suitable for bike batteries because they can cause damage through overcharging). Paul's chargers are suitable for 6V and 12V and feature a quick release plug and socket connection that can be fitted out of sight to enable easy connection without taking the bike apart. Crocodile clips are also supplied.

Absolutely to scale. DANGER! 240V. Do not lick the screen unless you are wearing rubber boots...

These nifty chargers cost £14.25 including UK delivery from www.norbsa02.freeuk.com

Classic Cover

The 'Bike Home' motorcycle cover is a fair bit more substantial than your usual bike cover but costs much the same as a heavyweight winter item. The Bike Home is more like a mini-garage than a simple waterproof throw-over, which means you can protect your P&J from the elements and leave space in the shed to get on with your project. The Bike Home is fully waterproof, and is made of polyester with a urethane coating and rubber lining. It comes as a flatpack with detailed instructions for assembly, and promises to be easy to use.

Absolutely to scale. Really...

At 112" long, the Bike Home should be more than big enough for all classic bikes and most modern ones. It protects from dust and debris, is UV resistant and is fitted with two secure locking mechanisms. You can bolt the Bike Home permanently in place or use it as a temporary/moveable shelter. It's just over five feet tall when set up, so shorter riders can simply ride their bikes into their snug winter cocoon.

The Bike Home was originally £124.99 but is available on special offer at the moment at £99.99, saving £25. UK delivery costs a tenner. See www.feelgooduk.net/bike or call 01162 600 070.

BSA Bracket

The colourful bracket shown here suits M and B rigid and plunger models, and attaches the front of the dual seat to the frame. It's just back in stock at Draganfly Motorcycles, for £9.80 plus post and VAT, part number 65-9236 (but it's not suitable for swinging arm models).

Shown redder than actual colour...

For the gearbox of the same machines there should be a rubber wedge fitted inside the casing to soften the blow of the kickstart returning to its resting position. It should be fairly firm, but the chances are that over the years it will have turned to 'mush' which is a mixture of rubber, heat and gearbox oil. This is also one of the few parts Draganfly stock which that will fit the 1946-48 B group gearbox although it will have to be trimmed a little! Costs just £2.80 plus post and VAT, part number 66-3259.

Both from www.draganfly.co.uk or call 01986 894798.

Get Sparky!

The Thorspark electronic ignition magneto conversion is a straightforward system suitable for most classic British bikes fitted with Lucas magnetos. This Thorspark replaces the magneto entirely, but fits inside the magneto end cap. The magneto remains in place, the original manual or automatic ignition advance continues to function as before, and the electronic conversion is not visible so the original appearance of the bike is maintained.

Shown more negative than actual polarity...

The conversion comes in 6 or 12 volt options, and both positive or negative earth. The nice chaps at Columbus Motorcycles who devised the Thorspark system reckon that fitting it is a doddle (just three wires), while setting it up takes less than two hours to complete, including ignition timing (you'll need a strobe light). Full instructions are included with the Thorspark kit, and setting the timing should be easier and more accurate than for a magneto. The system provides a large spark at all engine speeds, which normally improves starting and low speed running. Once fitted, it should be maintenance free.

The Thorspark system comes with a five year guarantee and suits most Britbikes, be they singles, twins or even a Square Four, which were originally fitted with a Lucas magneto. It costs £150 plus delivery, and can be sent worldwide. See www.columbus motorcycles.co.uk/thorspark.html

Glovely Job!

We've recently convinced FW The Editor to throw away his stinky old riding gloves and invest in a new pair of winter paws. So you can look forward to seeing his new, racy red mitts guest-starring in roadtests to come, taking pride of place on the saddle. (Why do we habitually put our gloves on the bike when taking snaps? Because the laybys of Britain are littered with ones we've put down in the past and then been unable to find mere moments later…).

Does anyone not know what a glove looks like? If so here's a picture of two of them....Frank's opted for Weise Sportec winter gloves which are designed to keep hands warm and dry without compromising fit and feel. They incorporate a three-layer Hipora, Thinsulate Supreme and Tri-fleece inner lining.

The Sportec is promoted as being waterproof and breathable (preventing perspiration build-up and that appalling accompanying smell of wet dog), warm and comfortable. It is also thin enough to allow freedom of movement, ensuring there are no tight spots to restrict circulation. A waterproof zip runs to the cuff with an elasticated wrist section to ensure a snug fit over or under the cuffs of winter riding jackets.

With a full-grain leather palm and textile back, the Sportec should be perfectly suited to winter riding conditions. Weise also offer a similar glove tailored for the female of the species, called the Selene; it's slightly cheaper and comes in ladies' sizes.

The Sportec is available in black/gun, black/blue and black/red, in sizes S-3XL, and is priced at £49.99 including VAT. See www.weise-clothing.co.uk

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Shameless Plug....
Buying via any of these links helps to support RealClassic.co.uk:

  • Panther Publishing for classic biking books
  • Classic-Motor cycles.co.uk for a huge range of t-shirts, posters and prints
  • Motorworks' eBay shop or the BikerOneStop eBay shop for all sorts of useful bits and bobs


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