Dave's Blog - June 2016 - Black Betty Arrives

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Thursday 30th June - Last Day of June and it's raining AGAIN !

Washed the Kawasaki, and booked it in for an MoT tommorow. Started to look at some random posts involving CG125, engines and frames being fitted into the Bantam running gear. Whilst I several engines undergoing various stages of restoration, I fancy trying something a little different. I had thought about a diesel engine. The photo below is a bantam with a leader engine and EN125 forks. Must be a challenging ride. 


Tuesday 28th July 2016

Spoke to the Crome company, they will dip the rear rack to allow painting / plastic coating. I am stuggling without luggage ability. 

Bought a replacement rear indicator for the Kwak, as the internals on the nearside are erm..... kaput. Ebay £8.95

Bought new summer gloves in the sale £25 ( brown goats leather ) 

Bought muck off, and degreaser, all the above from the sportsbikeshop.co.uk 

Monday Evening 27th June 2016

Spent the evening sorting the indicators out on the ER5, and then took a brief run to the BP filling station. I am sure it felt better without all the Iron on the back. Earlier I exchanged several emails with Bert re the rear tyre for the TBird. £131 incl. delivery.

Sunday 26th June 2016

What a day, took the Bantam to the St.Ives motorcycle show, met up with Bert, saw Pete, Brian, Rick had a lovely day looking at the bikes.

later the same afternoon I rode over to the Abbots Elm Pub, and took in the sunshine. I am leaning towards a large classic bike. So much fun getting these old bits of Iron working again. 

Saturday 25th June 2016

Cleaning the Bantam, and checking bolts etc. then riding over to the Croc farm for Lunch. Took the bike out to the farm, really should have tightened the forks up, recorded the trip on the GoPro. It was twisted, but used the VirB software to overlay the GPS data. Came back and sorted the forks out. 

late afternoon - inspiration. looked at the forks, and have worked out that whilst not as bad as it looks on the above video, the top headstock is twisted. I will sort in the morning. Illustration shows my logic.

fork illustration

Friday 24th June 2016

Afternoon:- took the bantam out for a shakedown, to one of my favourite tearooms, no real issues. Need to check out the bike as the handlebars are do still appear to be twisted, yet they cannot be as their new bars. 

Thursday 23rd June 2016

Fitted the replacement handlebars, their rise is a little shallower. Due to bad weather I didn't get chance to see if their straight, or of resonable quality. Will hopefully get chance tomorrow.

Tuesday 21st June 2016

New throttle cable arrived. Fingers crossed as this will allow me to use the new Amal twist grip. 

Monday 20th June 2016

Ordered replacement handlebars - Feked.com, out this evening so I'll miss Bike Night. I'll need no excuse to jump on a bike tommorow evening, although I'd like to get the wiring complete on the Kawasaki.

Sunday 19th June 2016

Well the day came good, lovely 1030 meet with Stuart and Mel, rode to the Krazy horse way of Mildenhall and Lakenheath. We couldn't get a seat so rode the seven roads Cafe, for a cuppa. We then rode to the Kings Cafe. Home via Wisbecisthan. Lovely day. 200miles since filling the bike up. Several photos below. 


Saturday 18th June 2016

Washed the Thunderbird, and degreased the not insignificant amount of grease, took it for fuel and returned with a big smile. Sat wondering where this years adventures will take me. 

triumph badge

Friday 17th June 2016

went to fit the new speedo cable. Only to discover that the gearbox was indeed broken, took the wheel off AGAIN, are fitted the originally. Once this was done I decided to start to remove the rear Hepco rack from the Kawasaki. I will need to resolder some of the cables, but quite a quick job to remove the racking. Weather permitting tommorow morning I hope to ride to the classic meet in Broughton. Return and wash the Thunderbird. 

Wednesday 15th June 2016

Sometimes one reads something on the net leads to a moment of reflection - "Both the D1 - D3 and the D7 on trims I have remanufactured are desined to be fitted outside front and rear as they are off set to one side. the gap between the inner edge of the tank and the mounting boss should have small spacers fitted this allows for the padlock mounting to clear the front edge of the tank." 

tank spacers

Tuesday 14th June 2016

Bad nights sleep, would you believe thinking about the speedo gearbox, and the handlebars. Will investigate this evening, before bike night. As predicted light rain again this morning. Sure to stop the Bantam being taken out. .... found this link.

The speedo gearbox issue was discussed in a rather timely manner here: http://www.bsabantamclub.com/f.....gear-probs

Sounds as though it's exactly the same problem with mine - the internal spacer wasn't replaced correctly and theirs not enough to space the inner face off the speedo drive from the inner race of the wheel bearings. A few washers popped in though and that was resolved. 



took the rear wheel off to check the speedo gearbox, tbh I could find nothing wrong, however the benefit was confirmation that indeed the problem does not appear to be the gearbox. I will strap the gearbox with two strong cable ties. Hopefully a new cable correctly located at both ends will fit. 


Monday 13th June 2016

Gutted, went down the Garage, only to notice the speedo cable had destroyed itself on last nights run. Having read the article below ( italics ) I have a nasty suspiscion that I have missed a washer out and the gearbox itself might have imploded. I will investigate tommorow evening, weather as predicted. Light rain, which I suspect will prevent the BSA being taken out ..... GRRRRR.

Sunday 12th June 2016

had a lovely run through the fens to see Ants and his ever growing collection of bikes, simply stunning. Got to try out the new budget SMH-5 headset on the budget Spada Helmet, linked to my Samsung S6 phone. No problems at all, could clearly hear phonecalls upto 75mph. This afternoon I fitted shorter bolts, but the rubber is spilling out, and needs trimming. The light rain stopped me dead. I will wobble out and sort later this afternoon / early evening. Was hoping to be a little further ahead than I am at the moment. 

Update: The rain stopped, and I went out and completed the work on the Bantam, took it on a test / shake down - here's a video and a few photos post the run. Things still need tidying up, and checking over but the hard work is done..... for now. ..

Saturday 11th June 2016

What a day, had a flash of inspiration and used some inner tube as a shocker/ spacer for the alloy mudguard stays. Ended driling me bloody finger, but the brackets are temporariy fitted and on the first shake down the bike went okay. I do need to do a few more jobs on the boke, but I am hopeful with a fair wind tommorow and Monday evening will see the bike finished being assembled. I will then have to touch up several small areas before displaying the bike. It is starting to look very nice. So dissapointed about the twisted handlebars. Jobs to do. 

20160611 140917

1. secure battery better

2. trim mudguard brackets

3. rear tail light secure 

4. handlebars swap over for temp set. 

5. tighten fuel filter

6. fill tank

7. re-route throttle cable

8. adjust bracket to allow side panel to be fitted. 

9. polish out the mark on the side panel 

10. consider using tax disk to story tell the bikes restoration.

Friday 10th June 2016

Spent most of the afternoon trying to get a 1/8BSP fibre washer, went everywhere on the Kwak to try, ended up buying a selection set from Toolstation, and using a round file to open it up a little. 

It worked, better still it does not leak, and this evening I fitted the rear brake light and the tank badges. Need to sort the bullets out and I am not 100% comfortable with the screws holding the light unit onto the rear plate holder. I will drill and use metric with Nylocs. Won't have to worry about losing a screw or the whole unit. tommorow I hope to make significant headway. Still hoping to get to Stilton Wednesday.....

nearly there

Thursday 9th June 2016

Stent was removed, and I jumped straight onto the Kwak, and took a ride out via the fenland villages. Onwards and upwards. 



Tuesday 7th June 2016

Tank badges, and the missing rear light fitting have turned up. Have resisted fitting, have found the Kawasaki keys, have put the bike on charge, and am hoping to ride to bike night, but clouds are gathering. Might have to settle for fitting the brake light assembly and badges. It's been 28+ degrees this afternoon. Grrrrr. Took The Er5 out round the block and back, started to rain, it's battery is on the optimate after being laid up for so long. 

Monday 6th June 2016

Not all bad news, the fuel tap having been introduced to fuel has swollen, it's cork is now tighter. Better still the mudguard stays have been tested, and their a great fit. 

Dissapointingly the rear lamp fitting delivered last Thursday has gone AWOL in the post room, not a show stopper, but I'm going to arrange for parts to be delivered to the local post office, as I do with Amazon.

Sun June 5th 2016 

Found the missing nipple whilst tidying the garage, re-fitted the Amal original twist grip. Noticed a massive flood of petrol from the tap. Closer inspection shows that the cork has dried out and contracted. I will have to take a closer look tommorow evening, as I am hoping a good soaking in Petrol will have sorted the tap. I noticed the washer was leaking from the base of the Carb. These old bikes don't like being left too long before being run. Will hopefully report some good news tommorow. 

Sat June 4th 2016

Bought a £60 Frank Thomas open face helmet, time will tell if it's a long term preference when riding local roads.

June 1st 2016 

Well junes arrived and it's shocking weather, will spend the next two evenings away from the bike, I'm over-dosed. Created a FaceBook page for the first ever Cambridge and Rutland Meet. Lets hope the word gets out. 









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