Archive for April, 2014

April 30, 2014

Drawing on Experience


After the last few entries of assembly here’s a review of the exploded workshop manual drawings. I’ve posted these before during research but now we’ve seen the components go back together they have more life.


The cylinder head with valves; crankshaft, pistons and timing cams. I like the penmanship of these technical drawings, you can see the draughtsmans unique hand in them.

April 29, 2014

Egg Grouping…


The clutch is the hidden unsung hero of the transmission: where rotational power is transfered from the engine driveshaft, through the gearbox and on to the back wheel. Allowing power to be controlled to change gearing whilst allowing the engine to continue spinning. Known as a basket clutch it contains a series of alternating friction and smooth plates each with  inner and outer lugs that provide a keyed link between the outer drive drum and inner driven shaft. Under normal operation springs squeeze the plates together forming the engine to wheel power transmission. When the clutch lever is pulled in the clutch is disengaged. But you all know that!

April 28, 2014

Quite Shocking!


The rear shocks arrived today, ordered directly from NJB Suspension in the UK who manufacture rear units specifically for Triumph Cubs; amongst other pre 65 twin shock machines. They slotted straight on and, along with the forks threaded into the steering head triple tree, start to give the chassis some semblance of the motorbike it it yet to be. I could attach the wheels and she’d roll! Progress!

April 27, 2014

‘Gin & Tonic

The pieces fit together as planned; well, mostly. That is what the soft blow hammer is for, to encourage the required mating of the Cub engine components.


Today the case halves were reunited again with enclosed crankshaft. Chilled bearings were driven home, oil seals installed and the main gear spindle with drive sprocket, and the weighty big-end threaded correctly to its bushing, then the cases buttoned up with a smear of liquid gasket and nine peripheral bolts tightened in the workshop manual recommended ‘star’ tightening pattern.


Timing side pinion bolted directly to the crank, tappets slid up to their home and the timing cams and gear meshed according to marks.


I’m on a roll! Cylinder studs threaded down into the lower, piston aligned with gudgeon pin and circlip retainers popped in. Barrel dropped into place minding that the piston rings seat between the piston and barrel wall itself.

That’s enough for today! It all sounds like it went easily together but I don’t explain some removal, adjusting clearances, reassembling – repeat.. For a few of the steps.

April 26, 2014

It’s all in the head


Engine assembly truly beginning today; the cylinder head had the valves installed: their respective springs compressed and collets popped in. Rocker spindles threaded with the arms set, covers and carburettor studs and exhaust sleeve screwed in. “Over ‘ere son; on the ‘ead!”

April 25, 2014

Brighton Beeza Babe


T’is the weekend and it’s time to hare down the A23 to the seaside. The pebbly beach fronted promenade is the place to be seen and Madeira Drive the strip to drag up and down. How low are those ‘bars?

April 24, 2014




*Normal service to this blog will resume momentarily; in the meantime enjoy this Triumph Thruxton ‘strip art’.

I’ve got a bleedin’ cold with a runny nose, stuffy heid and volcanic sneezin’!

April 23, 2014

Saint Geordie


The twenty third of April is the feast of the Roman soldier George who was martyred on this day in the fourth century. Typically shown defeating a dragon atop a white steed with maiden beyond his veneration is celebrated in many countries for his virtue. The English flag is his banner: a red vertical cross on white. Itself forming the very foundation for the Union Flag (Jack).


Here is a Triumph Bonneville used as a modern ride leaning into one of the many corners of a latter day dragon: the Dragons Tail at Deals Gap in North Carolina, an 11 mile stretch of Route 129 with over 300 corners.

April 22, 2014

“You were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!”


Classic line in a classic British film from 1969. Caine is marvelous as Charlie Croker the gold bullion theft ring-leader. The car chase is in the top 3 of chases (Bullitt, The Blues Brothers?). The alpine and Turin scenery sublime.


It was on the telly last evening in unedited wide screen format. Fabulous! It just so happens the scene where they blew more than the bloody doors off was filmed in Crystal Palace Park in south London. I first learned to ride a motorcycle in that park back in 1996. A Suzuki 125.


April 21, 2014

Road by Instruments


Yesterdays jaunt was certainly a good ‘feather-winded’ trip to loosen overwintering riding skills as well as the bikes awakening leg-stretching. One electrical fault from a hibernating gremlin who had decided to sabotage the negative wire at the fuse. A quick roadside repair and an engine fires up again.



This is the tale of the Gremlins
Told by the P.R.U.
The incredible tale of the Gremlins
But believe me, you slobs, it’s true.

When you’re seven miles up in the heavens,
(That’s a hell of a lonely spot)
And it’s fifty degrees below zero
Which isn’t exactly hot.

When you’re frozen blue like your Spitfire
And you’re scared a Mosquito pink,
When you’re thousands of miles from nowhere
And there’s nothing below but the drink

It’s then you will see the Gremlins,
Green and gamboge and gold,
Male and female and neuter
Gremlins both young and old.

It’s no good trying to dodge them,
The lessons you learned on the Link
Won’t help you evade a Gremlin,
Though you boost and you dive and you fink.

White ones will wiggle your wingtips,
Male ones will muddle your maps,
Green ones will guzzle your Glycol,
Females will flutter your flaps.

Pink ones will perch on your perspex,
And dance pirouettes on your prop;
There’s a spherical, middle-aged Gremlin
who’ll spin on your stick like a top.

They’ll freeze up your camera shutters,
They’ll bite through your aileron wires,
They’ll bend and they’ll break and they’ll batter,
They’ll insert toasting forks in your tyres.

That is the tale of the Gremlins,
Told by the P.R.U.,
(P)retty (R)uddy (U)nlikely to many
But fact, none the less, to the few.

April 20, 2014

Diner Destination


Perfect spring weather allowed a good spin on the bikes, up through Lake County and back along the North Shore. Lunch stop in Zion for some delicious blueberry pancake’s with sausage links on the side.


Washed down with endless fresh coffee.


Sunny? Oh yes! It was a sunglasses sky aloft…warm air blew through my unzippered jacket vents.


April 19, 2014

Window Shopping


A couple gaze adoringly at a possible new two-up ride. The shiny moto peers back at them coolly knowing they’ll undoubtedly make the purchase. This magazine cover has the typical B&W with color printing of the time for uncomplicated presentation. Nearly newspaper like.

April 18, 2014

Bert Piddock is the man!


I need me this instruction manual for the reassembly….  A step-by-step photographic explanation of the strip-down and bolt-together of this diminutive power plant.

April 17, 2014

TBT: Throwback Thursday


Here’s the Bonnie fresh from its engine refit back in ’10. All splendid in its original Gulf color’s, drum front brake, upright bars and just a couple of dozen new miles on the Smiths clocks.

April 16, 2014

‘Enery Ford’s assembly-line idea sounds like a good ‘un

The factory line at Triumphs Hinckley plant is a stark contrast to my meager basement Cub rebuild. The stocked production process can spit out an engine every 85 seconds and, when under full throttle, a motorcycle every 2 minutes 25 seconds….


I need me a blue polo-shirt and khaki trousers..


‘Ave you got a torque wrench Bob?