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Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Distinguished Gentleman's Ride 2020 (Solo) Glasgow

 


Sunday was the planned date for the Distinguished Gentleman's Ride, where motorcyclist around the world put on their most dapper clothing and ride together to raise funds for men's mental health and cancer charities.  link

However, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, no group rides were organised and participants were asked to ride solo then forward photos to the DGR website.

It was a bit cold (14C) when I started, so put on thermals under my riding suit. It got a bit warmer as the day went on, but there was always a nip in the air.

I had planned riding in the Glasgow ride (see previous posts), so headed out on a solo ride through the city. First stop was to be George Square in the city centre, a meeting point of the 2017 Ride. I rode into the city centre and encountered my first problem – Glasgow City Council rearranges the roads priorities, junctions, directions etc on a seemingly weekly basis, so if you don't visit the city for a while you have no idea of how to get anywhere. They also have a bad habit of designating roads as 'bus and taxi only' arbitrarily and without any signage, just the words 'Bus Gate' painted on the road surface AFTER you've entered the street. I ended up riding into the south side of George Square through a bus gate. Whether or not they have numberplate recognition cameras I'll find out when a fine pops through my letterbox!

After a lot of riding about I finally made it to a part of George Square where I could stop and take a photo. Unfortunately I couldn't position the camera and tripod to get the City Chambers in the background with them being run over by traffic.



There had been a plan for a future group DGR in Glasgow to include George Square again, but with the very 'vehicle hostile' road layout I can't really see how it would be possible. We'll either have to keep out of the city centre or, preferably, abandon Glasgow and have the ride in one of the surrounding towns.

I rode out of the city centre and headed towards the South Side, an area that I've lived in a couple of times, to look for suitable photo opportunities. I had intended stopping at Queen's Park, but bus lanes and high kerbs meant I couldn't really stop anywhere. Eventually I stopped at the Battlefield Rest. This was built in 1914 as a waiting room for bus and tram passengers and crews changing vehicles at the junction, and is now a restaurant Link



I rode past a house that I'd lived in in my late 20s/early 30s. I hadn't visited the area for many years, so it was interesting to see, then stopped at the house I was born in and lived in until the age of about 8.



Usually the DGR finishes at Triumph Glasgow link, so headed there for a final photo.



The shop was closed, but just after I'd packed my camera and tripod away a nice young woman from West Coast Harley Davidson link, across the road, came over and said that I 'looked wonderful'! I don't often get compliments from women so I assume she was referring to my clothes rather than my looks!

I'd deliberately ridden all day through town to keep my speed down due my feeling 'exposed' wearing an open faced helmet and a suit, but for a laugh I returned home on the motorway. Fair to say open faced helmet are not really suitable for riding at speed as I could feel my face wobbling about in the wind.

About an hour before I left for the Ride, I decided to fit a video camera to the handlebars and film myself riding along. Wearing the open faced helmet meant that the microphone was in a less than ideal position and the camera cut out a couple of times, possibly due to low battery. I've never filmed myself riding before, but I've edited the useable bits of video and pasted them together. Sorry about the quality, especially the audio, but it's not bad for a first attempt.



As always, this is a charity event so feel free to donate on my page: link

I believe next year's event will take place in May, so weather should be a bit warmer. Whether or not it'll be a group ride depends on how the Covid-19 situation is by then, but I'll be there – possibly on my Honda CL350 if it's ready by then.


Thursday, 24 September 2020

Scooter now sold

 That's my Honda Forza sold, thanks to everyone who showed an interest. Not buying and more bikes, will spend the money redoing my kitchen!






Tuesday, 22 September 2020

A run down the coast

 

Hadn't been out for a proper run on the bike for a while, so last week headed for the Ayrshire coast.

First part is the fairly familiar route to Largs, then south towards Prestwick, trying to stay as close to the coast as possible. I bypassed Prestwick and the centre of Ayr as traffic was heavy before heading back to the coast through the southern part of Ayr to my first stop at the village of Dunure.

Dunure has a really nice harbour and a ruined castle, but is a bit 'visitor hostile'. There is a small amount of parking next to the harbour, usually used by locals and people using the harbour, and the main parking area next to the castle charges, so people usually pass it by. I managed to park in a lay-by overlooking the castle, but that's about the only bit of free parking about. If they made the car park free, a lot more visitors would stop, perhaps enough to support a café and the now closed ice cream shop.



Dunure Castle


Just outside of Dunure is the 'Electric Brae'. The alignment of the road and surrounding hills give the illusion that the road appears to be going uphill when it's actually going downhill (and vice versa). Personally, I can't see it, but it's been a popular tourist attraction for years.




Is this road going uphill or downhill?

Headed further south and stopped at Maidens. Another village with a nice harbour, but more importantly, free parking which means that there are a few businesses open.



Maidens

From there it was south towards Turnberry where I looked to see if I could find where the former motor racing circuit was. I've found very little information online, but I believe it was situated to the east of the A719 road, near where the Little Turnberry Farm now sits. In the picture you can see the remains of the former RAF Turnberry air base (1917 – 1945), and the race circuit MIGHT have used the runway next to the road. The circuit held a Formula 1 race in 1952, but there is nothing remaining I could see.






Runway of the old RAF Turnberry air base - possibly part of the race circuit?

The nearby ruined Turnberry Castle was the childhood home (and possible birthplace) of Robert the Bruce, King Robert I of Scotland, and the majority of Turnberry consists of the Trump Turnberry golf resort.

Heading southward I reached the town of Girvan. I had intended passing through and continuing down the coast, but the traffic was solid through the town. The problem is that this is the main (only!) route from the Central Belt to the ferry port of Cairnryan and the infrastructure isn't up to coping with the level of traffic heading to Ireland. So I detoured towards Dailly, then meandered about exploring the backroads of Ayrshire. Some years ago I worked in a job that included visiting houses throughout Ayrshire, so it was interesting revisiting a lot of the small villages. The A741 moor road between Straiton and Dalmellington was suitably bleak and deserted.

From the outskirts of Dalmellington I headed past Patna before taking the B730 towards Drongan. On this road was the small mining village of Cairntable, which only existed from 1917 to 1963. Like a number of other villages in the area, it was built around a coal mine, which once it was worked out the villagers left to find work elsewhere. Other than a memorial stone and a length of pavement, there's nothing left of the village. Last time I was there, there was a WW2 era fortified pillbox at the side of the road, but it seems to have been removed.





From there I headed home via Tarboltan and Fenwick taking the most windy route using back roads that I could.

I stopped at the Barcraig Reservoir near my house for a suitable atmospheric photo.


I recorded my journey on my new sat nav, but didn't have a big enough SD card to download it!

This is a photo of the screen showing the route.



Total distance: 164miles/264km with 5:30 hours of riding.


Saturday, 12 September 2020

Triumph Bonneville T100 brake upgrade - Part 2 Front

 

Disclaimer

This article concerns making modifications to a bike's braking system. Due to the potential hazards, do not attempt this unless you are mechanically competent in carrying out the work safely. I'm posting this in an advisory rather than instructional capacity, so any work you carry out is at your own risk.

********

Turning now to the front caliper which I believe is similar or the same as that fitted to some Hondas including versions of the CBR 600. This isn't very powerful, the lighter CBR 600 used two of the calipers, but can be upgraded. When I bought mine the front brake was a bit sticky, so I stripped it down and replaced the seals and pistons with stainless replacements.



Link to Ebay listing

It's also worthwhile replacing the locating pin with a stainless one to prevent grief later.



Link to supplier

For some weird reason, although the front caliper banjo bolt has a metric thread it has an inch head. I had to buy a 9/16” socket to remove it, stupid stuff like this annoys me so I replaced it with a metric stainless Allen headed bolt.



Once I'd stripped and rebuilt my caliper the braking was better, but still pretty poor. There are a couple of ways you can upgrade the brakes to improve braking.

Firstly, the expensive route. There are a number of replacement calipers that are a straight bolt on.



Link



link


Link

Both of the above suppliers also sell floating replacement discs. (more about that later.)

Note: there may be other brake upgrades, if you discover any let me know and I'll add them.


A cheaper alternative is using a different Nissin caliper, these are available used and can be fitted with some modification.

Before going any further, read the Disclaimer at the top of this page and these following articles:

Link 1

Link 2

Link 3

Link 4

Firstly, find a suitable 3 piston left hand side Nissin caliper as fitted to a number of Honda models. List from one of the articles mentioned:

2009 NSA700A F-10-1 L FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2008 NSA700A F-10-1 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF600SA F-12-20 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER (L)
2010 CBF600NA F-12-20 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER (L.)
2009 CBF600SA F-10-1 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER (L)
2009 CBF1000T F-11-2 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2006 CBF1000A F-11-2 L.FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2012 CBR600FA F-10-2 F. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF1000TA F-11-2 LEFT FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2009 CBF1000S F-12-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2011 CBR600FA F-10-2 LEFT FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF1000SA F-11-2 LEFT FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2009 CBF600NA F-10-1 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER (L)
2009 CBF1000A F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2008 CBF1000TA F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF1000FTA F-12-20 LEFT FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2008 CBF1000SA F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2012 CBF1000FT F-12-20 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2011 CBF1000FT F-12-20 L.FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF1000A F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2008 CBF1000A F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2011 CBF1000FS F-12-20 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF1000FSA F-12-20 LEFT FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CBF1000FA F-12-20 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2012 CBF1000FS F-12-20 L.FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2012 CBF1000FA F-12-20 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2011 CBF1000FA F-12-20 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2011 CB600FA F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2009 CB600F3A F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CB600FA F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2008 CB600FA F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2007 CB600FA F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2008 CBF600SA F-10-2 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER (L.)
2008 CBF600NA F-10-2 FRONT BRAKE CALIPER (L.)
2012 CB1000RA F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2011 CB1000RA F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CB1300SA F-11 R. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2009 CB1000RA F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2010 CB1000RA F-11-2 L.FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2007 CBF1000T F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2007 CBF1000S F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2007 CBF1000A F-11-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2012 CB600FA F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER
2009 CB600FA F-10-2 L. FRONT BRAKE CALIPER

There are a number of similar calipers, the one you want looks like this.



There are two versions of this, those used on models with linked brakes and those without. Unlinked calipers are much rarer but are easier to fit. Linked calipers have to be 'delinked' before fitting.

Delinking a caliper.

The 3 pistons in the caliper are operated by 2 inputs: the outer two pistons by the upper inlet (operated by the front brake lever on Hondas), and the centre piston by the lower inlet (rear brake). The outer pistons are connected by a passage behind the centre piston. To 'delink' you need to remove the pistons and drill through the back of the centre chamber to break into this passage. A good tip is to remove the end bleed nipple and push the tube from a spray can of WD-40 or similar in until it can be seen through the outer chambers. You want to drill through the back of the centre chamber in line with this tube (I used a long 3mm drill). When you see flakes of the plastic tube appearing in the aluminium swarf then you know you're reached it.




When you've drilled a neat hole give the caliper a thorough clean to remove any flakes and chips of metal and plastic.

Rebuild the caliper using new seals. A lot of pattern seals are poor quality (don't ask!), so either use Genuine Honda seals or ones from a reputable supplier. I got mine here: Link

You now have to block the lower input as now all 3 pistons will be operated by the upper input. Use a short screw with a finer than standard M10 x 1.25 thread and seal with a copper banjo bolt washer.

You need a mounting bracket to fit the caliper to the fork. Part to use is Honda 45190-MFA-D11. This is used on the following bikes:

Honda 2009 DN-01

Honda 2011-2015 CB1000RA

Honda 2013 CB1100AD

I searched for ages but was unable to find a used one, so had to buy new. Cheapest place I could find was Partzilla in the US who, even taking in postage and import costs, was cheaper than suppliers in the UK. Link



Now it's just a case of bolting the caliper and bracket on, connecting the brake hose, and bleeding the caliper. You have to bleed it from both nipples, but the lower nipple traps very little air.


I fitted a new brake hose as mine was a bit untidy looking. I had ordered the one listed by Venhill for the Bonneville, but although it would work, I didn't like how tight it was. I ordered another one 30mm longer, this won't be a problem if your bars aren't as high as mine.



If you have a spoked wheel Bonneville you will now encounter another problem – the lower mudguard stay fouls on the (longer) caliper. Rotate the stay down the mudguard until it clears the caliper and drill 2 holes in the mudguard and attach it with screws and nuts. Put some short screws into the old mounting holes to tidy them up. Whilst doing this I also fitted a rubber mudflap.



I also fitted a new, floating disc as I was using my newly rebuilt wheels. This isn't necessary as your old disc will work fine with the new caliper.

Check everything is attached properly and no fluid is leaking and take the bike for a ride to bed in the brake pads. Once pads are bedded in the brake should be a lot more powerful but, more importantly, there will have a lot more 'feel' so you will have more control over braking. There will be a very small increase in lever travel, but it's insignificant.



Only problem is that the improved brake shows up how poor the springs in the front forks are – next job, uprated fork springs!









Scooter on Autotrader

 Since I had no luck on Ebay (just one timewaster), my scooter is now listed on Autotrader.


Link

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Scooter on sale yet again!

 

I thought I'd sold my scooter but the deal didn't go through so it's listed again. Took another £100 off the price. Don't delay, bid today!


Latest Ebay listing

Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Triumph Bonneville T100 brake upgrade - Part 1 Rear

 

Disclamer

This article concerns making modifications to a bike's braking system. Due to the potential hazards, do not attempt this unless you are mechanically competent in carrying out the work safely. I'm posting this in an advisory rather than instructional capacity, so any work you carry out is at your own risk.

********

Another area where Triumph skimped on cost was the braking. The calipers fitted to the air cooled Bonneville variants are fairly cheap Nissin sliding caliper models, similar to those used on a number of Hondas.

Starting first with the rear, the caliper is similar or the same as fitted to the Honda ST1100 Pan European. Triumph fit this with a bracket that mounts it below the wheel spindle, which means that the caliper is subjected to all sorts of rain and road debris, so tends to corrode and seize up.

When I bought my Bonneville, the caliper was very sticky, so I stripped it, cleaned it, and rebuilt it with a stainless piston kit. There are a few of these on the market, here is one of them:

Link to Ebay

I reassembled it, taking care to polish and regrease the sliding pins. I also fitted a new pair of pads which, once bedded in, improved the operation of the brake.

In the four years since I carried out the work, the brake has been working correctly, it's not great but is OK in operation. When I replaced my wheels (see previous post) I replaced the pads again as I was fitting a new disc, and replaced the pad retaining pins with stainless pins to help avoid them seizing in place.


Link to supplier

Although I haven't done this myself, some riders use an after market bracket to relocate the rear caliper to above the spindle, hopefully keeping it cleaner. There are a few on the market:



Motone



ARH Custom

Moto4U

Only problem is that the bleed nipple will now be at the bottom, so the disc would have to be removed, rotated and a piece of disc thickness wood placed between the pads to bleed the brake. Alternatively, you could fit a bleed banjo bolt which should be at the top when installed.



A higher cost alternative is to replace the rear caliper with a Brembo caliper, mounting bracket and floating disc..



Link to supplier


Part 2  Front. to follow.........