Monday, March 8, 2010

This blog never got a chance to get off the ground and no one reads it, so I'll probably close this soon. Last update: RIP Pearl! Pearl died in a motorcycle crash on 7/12/2009. Luckily, I did not. But, I did spend a week in the hospital with two broken arms, a broken jaw, a nasty ankle sprain, and a few stitches and broken teeth, etc. I am incredibly lucky that after 2 months - 3 months I was completely healed and back to normal! The bike was trashed. The frame was badly bent, the front end was toast, the tank was crunched. I suppose anything is fixable, but since I'm out of work, spending money on a motorcycle is not really an option for me. Also the girlfriend was NOT jazzed about me riding again. I sold the bike to the folks at Works Engineering, hopefully a part or two or Pearl lives on in one of their race bikes. RIP! One day, there will be another..

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Since the last update I've added some retro-styled side covers (from the nice folks over at British Only.) I also took the time to paint the tank badges. It wasn't too hard actually, I just used black model lacquer and the process probably took about an hour. I also had a new rear tire installed and some other maintenance, nothing major.
I'm excited to be starting a motorcycle maintenance course at Queens College this Thursday. It will be good to work in a lab and learn some of the basic maintenance procedures every motorcycle owner should know - especially owners of older bikes. More info on the course can be found on the Queens College Continuing Education website.
My bike is actually being rented at the moment, it is being feature in an insurance company commercial. A little annoying not having it around, but at least I'm making money and the weather has been shit anyway.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Wow, it's been awhile since the last update.

The cause of my previous issue was simple - I had a jury-rigged strap holding the battery in place. This strap had a metal hook which caused a short and blew a fuse. Blowing a fuse mid-stroke also did a number on one of the spark plugs. A new fuse and spark plug were all I needed to get back on the road. I also removed the metal hook from the battery strap to avoid any other incidents.

Since then, the bike has been running like a champ! Unfortunately, the riding season here in the Northeast is basically over. The weather has only been good enough to ride perhaps 2 days out of 3 weeks. Perhaps over this Winter I'll have time for two projects - installing a speedo/tach and installing turn signals. Also a horn. Although I've been riding fine without them, I'd sure feel safer in NYC traffic with them. Being able to legitimately pass an inspection might be nice too. ;)

I mentioned previously that I was working on a document which compiled the various information I've come across. I just put the first version of it up, you can check it out here. Hopefully some one out there finds it useful.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Some days, the motorcycles Gods are just not on your side. It's been an eventful few days. I started to have some issues with the idle on my bike, so I decided to try rebuilding the carburettor. Perhaps not the best idea, but a learning experience. Amazingly, I was able to remove and disassemble the carb and the bike still ran afterwards. Unfortunately. the idle was even worse! I took my bike to the local shop and they adjusted the carb, and while they were at it they adjusted my clutch and fixed my bent footpeg. Thanks guys! Works Engineering is my local shop and I highly recommend them. Along the way, I found some great resources on carbs I'll post up soon.
So this morning, I woke up to a beautiful day. And it's a vacation day. With my bike tuned up and ready to go, I was looking forward to a day of riding. Went outside and what did I find - my right side fuel line had ruptured during the night. Not only was the hose toast, but I lost whatever fuel I had in my tank. Of course, that had to be the first time I ever left the fuel petcocks open all night - and you can bet it'll be the last. A 2 mile walk, $.99 worth of fuel hose, two gallons of gas and two hours later, the bike was fixed. Now I was ready to ride. But ten minutes later I found myself stalled and unable to get the bike started again. There seemed to be a complete loss of power. Luckily, I was on a small hill and just last week I read an article about how to push-start your motorcycle. I pushed my bike down the hill, threw it in first and hit the gas..and it started! I was able to get her home under her own power. I've got the battery on a charger now, hopefully that resolves the power issue...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Well, I was right about the basic clutch adjustment being straightforward. But that doesn't mean I was able to figure it out on my own! Ha.
Even with the shop manual and the Haynes manual in front of me, I was pretty clueless on this one. Luckily the folks over at the TriumphRat forums were able to help me out. Check out this thread for a rather detailed explaination of the basic clutch adjustment. It's threatening to downpour right now but I'll take the bike out in a few days and see if the adjustment did the trick.
I'm starting to put together a document which captures the information I've come across on Triumphs so far, I'll host it and post a link here when it is further along.

Monday, September 22, 2008

After a bit of troubleshooting on the ignition path I determined the right-side condenser was bad, so I replaced it today. The right-side exhaust still expels cool air, but the bike doesn't die immediately when I pull the left plug. So I think the right cylinder is running, but perhaps not very well. A timing/valve adjustment may be in order.
This week's new issue is with the clutch. The bike always dies when I put it in 1st from neutral unless I have the throttle open a bit. Also it seems to require a couple of taps to get it into 1st, seeming to catch somewhere in the middle. Lastly, the other day it was creeping forward when I was trying to get it into 1st gear with the handlebar clutch lever fully engaged. I guess I'll try adjusting the tension on the clutch cable as that is fairly straightforward.
Ah, the joys of owning a vintage bike! Actually, it's not so bad. I enjoy troubleshooting the bike and I can still ride it around. My riding skills are improving, hopefully I'll feel confident enough to take Pearl out for a medium length trip before the riding season is over here in the NorthEast.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Houston, we have a problem. I'm pretty sure my bike is only running on one cylinder. Symptoms are cool air coming out the right side muffler, and if I pull the left side plug when the bike is running it dies immediately. Hopefully this isn't anything major and I can resolve the issue myself.
Since my last post I finally got the tank correctly mounted. I also did a bit more work towards getting the bike cleaned up, mostly spending a lot of time trying to get the spokes shining again. Soon I'll be fixing a few spots on the paint job that need attention. I'd also like to come up with something to cover the battery without resorting to the stock side panels. There may be a minor nagging issue with the electrical system. The other day I took the bike out for a spin at night and after about 15 minutes it took about 5 minutes to get it started again. I have a strong suspicion the battery isn't holding a charge well and running with the lights pushed it over the end. Some tests last weekend seemed to confirm that (the battery won't hold more than a 12.3v or so charge, not terrible but not great; load testing the battery gives results in the lower end of the acceptable range). I may end up replacing the battery and praying it's not the alternator.