Author Topic: Tabitha 1200  (Read 1741 times)

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January 22, 2021, 06:27:48 PMReply #30 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Back to the brakes, I already had the rear brake calliper removed and armed with my new brake piston removal tool, I started to strip down the calliper. The only thing was I couldn’t move the pistons. I ended up reconnecting the calliper to the rear brake hose, bleeding the brake and using the hydraulic pressure to push the pistons out so they were nearly, but not quite out, then disconnecting the calliper again. If I'd had an air compressor I'd have used that but sadly my man cave only possesses an old tyre inflator. One day maybe I'll address that.

If I'd given this soem thought, I should have done this before disconnecting the calliper and now I know this, I’m sure I’ll completely forget to do it the next time I have to replace the brake seals on a calliper. (I did - had to replace the seals on my Tiger rear brake & did exactly the same thing some months later  :icon_rolleyes:) ).

However, I finally got the pistons out, stripped the rest of the calliper down and gave everything a good clean. Turns out that after cleaning up the pistons and finishing off with 0000 grade wire wool, the pistons were near perfect, so didn’t need replacing as I originally suspected. I then did the same with the remaining front calliper, so all three stripped down, cleaned and ready to reassemble as soon as the seal kits arrived.

Until then, more cleaning (will it ever end?). I thought I’d start cleaning up the rear of the bike, starting with the chain. I suspect I’ll need to replace it but wanted to clean it first to assess the condition. I used Wurth chain cleaner and a brush to give it a thorough clean, then lubed it with some old chain lube I’ve had hanging around for too many years to remember, early 2000’s anyway.

It cleaned up OK but while lubing it I noticed a couple of links were rattling. The sprockets are good, but I’ve confirmed that the chain will need replacing. It’s false economy just to replace the chain, so I’ll also replace both sprockets.
Things were moving on, limited only by my available time and the pot of money that I didn’t have.
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January 22, 2021, 06:40:00 PMReply #31 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Towards the end of February, with funds still short, I decided to put the whole Trophy project on hold, but not fhr the reason you may think.

I refitted the brakes, front and rear and bled through some DOT4 I had lying around just to get them working. The reason being I wanted to get it off the bench. I did try to inflate the rear tyre so it would roll easier, but the valve broke off, so it’ll have to remain flat for now.

Now for why I wanted it off the bench. I've bought a second Tiger 955i from one of our very own, HockleyBoy.

It was offered to me way back in November 2019 and a deal was done. Now this is not as daft as you may think. I had a plan which would ultimately help with Tabitha. Aside from having to borrow £200 from my better half as I'd pretty much emptied my bank buying bits for Tabitha, I was told all it really needed was a new clutch, a good clean and a few other bits.

I decided what I was going to do with ‘Tiger2’ or T2 (I couldn’t be bothered to type Tiger2 all the time), although this decision was made after I began working on it.

What I was intending to do was give it a good jet wash before putting it on the bench but the weather outside was lousy, so once I’d put Tabitha at the back of the garage (where T2 was stored), T2 went straight on the bench for my first good look.

The plan was to do is do the necessary work to get it through its MOT, then sell it to help fund the work needed on Tabitha. I was originally going to keep it as a winter hack/Green lane machine, but to be honest, it’s a little heavy for a green laner and I really don’t mind using Tallulah (my silver Tiger) all year anyway.

My brother has been talking about taking his bike test for the better part of 5 years, about the same time as his son, my nephew Ken, started riding bikes.

I thought this might be the incentive he needs and could see me Paul & Kenny on family ride-outs in the summer (bearing in mind this was still pre-Covid) so offered Paul two options, either I’d let him borrow T2 when he wanted it, as long as he insures it, or I’d let him have it for whatever it cost me to get it through its MOT.

Sadly, he didn’t take me up on either option—which is why the plan changed to fix it, sell it.

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January 22, 2021, 06:49:24 PMReply #32 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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In March 2020, the world changed. A microscopic bug, called Covid-19 swept the planet and by the end of April 2020, the UK had been in Lockdown for 5 weeks. You may be forgiven for thinking that I’d have had all three Triumphs up and running and both T2 and Tabitha Trophy ready for their MOTs.

Sadly, not the case for many reasons, chief of which is that I was still working. Yes, it was from home, but as a key worker, I was still working my usual 5-day week. Admittedly, I did have some extra time available as I was saving around 90 minutes a day by commuting only from the kitchen to the dining room, a distance of 2 metres which is a much shorter journey than I was used to. So, jobs were done in the Man Cave to all three Triumphs.

There was an added bonus, I wasn’t paying for fuel to commute, or parking charges, nor was I paying for my daily latte at the local coffee shop. All this added up to BIKE PARTS!

I know I said I was putting Tabitha aside for a while as I wanted to get T2 sorted, but I had time to spare while I was waiting for some silicone sealer for Tallulah (My original and still No. 1 Tiger) after tackling the valve clearances, so decided to have a go at Tabitha’s clutch. When I got her, I noticed that pulling the clutch lever did nothing. I had already purchased a couple of replacement screws for the master cylinder cap, so my first job was to drill out the original ones to release the cap. Less than 10 minutes later, the cap was off revealing what looked like a very strong Tea like liquid. Not good. A relatively simple job I thought of bleeding through some fresh Dot4 and I’d be done.

What I like to call the ‘Jethro Tull’ rule struck again (Nothing is easy…, I think you may need to be a Tull fan to get it though) when I couldn’t get any fluid through the system. Not to worry, I have a vacuum bleed kit somewhere. Another deep dive through the toolbox and the vacuum pump was all connected to the bleed nipple and primed. Nothing, nada, couldn’t draw any fluid through the system.

Another trip to the internet and a new seal kit was ordered.

Another 6 day wait (although for clarity, it was the same 6-day wait as for the silicone sealer for Tallulah). As I also removed the slave cylinder and the clutch line as well, I cleaned everything up in anticipation of the seal delivery but found I still had time on my hands.

I decided to remove the airbox and thought about modifying it, which as some may know means I also had to remove the carbs. The reason for modifying the airbox was so that I didn’t have to remove the carbs in the future each time I wanted to replace the air filter.

Design fault or Triumphs way of making more money every time the air filter needs replacing by making it a pain in the arse, so you leave it for the dealer to do?

Little did I know at the time that the filter box can’t be easily split as the two halves are held together with captive nuts, so you can’t just replace the air filter either, you need to replace the whole box. Another reason for the ‘Airbox mod’.

I was toying with the idea of splitting the airbox so it can be removed without taking the carbs off and replacing the stock filter with a K&N version. Thing is, a K&N filter costs about the same as a new airbox & filter from Triumph, so I didn’t really see the point, especially as the service interval for the air filter is 24,000 miles.

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January 22, 2021, 06:56:25 PMReply #33 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Anyway, back to the Clutch. A new seal kit for the master cylinder arrived and it took all of 10 minutes to replace the seals and refit the master cylinder to the bike. Two hours later and I’m still trying to pump fluid through the system without success. I tried everything, including vacuum bleeding and reverse bleeding from the slave cylinder using a 500ml syringe and length of fuel hose. Damned if I could get it to work. I even stripped the master cylinder & rebuilt it again just in case I’d got it wrong the first time around.

Yet another trip to the internet to research the issue. I found many articles about reverse bleeding (tried that), vacuum bleeding (tried that too) and a couple about priming the master cylinder first (also tried that). Eventually, I found one article that suggested that the banjo bolt could be higher than the piston, causing an air lock, especially if the master cylinder is positioned in its ‘riding position’.

 It suggested rotating the master cylinder so that the banjo bolt is as far below the piston as possible without spilling any fluid out of the reservoir. Tried it and SUCCESS! Within 10 minutes I had a fully working clutch, at least it feels like it’s working. I put the bike into a high gear & tried rotating the rear wheel with my foot while holding the clutch in, but it wasn’t an easy thing to do. I suspect that after standing unused for so long the clutch plates may need some attention, but I’ll save that for another day.

Time for an update on the fuel cap.

Those nice young men at Practical Sportsbike published my plea for help in the May 2020 issue. The venerable Gary Hurd suggested attacking said lock with a drill and once open, buy a new tumbler & file the pins so the original key will fit. Well, I didn’t exactly do that as I had one more trick up my sleeve. With the help of a stick, my endoscope and a length of fuel line, I injected some Harpic X10 limescale remover onto the underside of the lock & left it for 20 minutes before rinsing it all out with diesel.

I had to do it twice to clean all the crud off but once done, I inserted the key and felt some movement. With the aid of a thin flat blade screwdriver for more turning power, the lock finally gave in and opened. I removed the whole locking mechanism and thoroughly cleaned it. It now works fine.



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January 22, 2021, 07:04:02 PMReply #34 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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I mentioned I removed the carbs earlier, mainly so I could gain better access to the clutch, which also meant removing the airbox. What I didn’t mention is that the filter is in remarkable condition. There’s a sticker on the back of the box indicating it was replaced in 2005, which suggests it may have covered as little as 5000 miles. The service interval for these filters is 24,000 miles. Cleaning up the outside of the box, including removing the now common spiderwebs, I decided to  re-use it, rather than replace.

I had a good look at the carb bank. There was an overpowering varnish type smell coming from them. While my initial idea was to purchase a sonic cleaner & strip them myself, on reflection, I decided to pay to have them done for me by someone who knows what they're doing. That's not to say I can't do it myself, but these need doing properly if I'm to get the bike running again after so long sitting unused.

They went off to a local, ex-Triumphg mechanic who started his own business shortly after the UK Lockdown I, so I thought I'd support a local business even if it cost me a little more than sending them off to an unknown company half way across the country.

It was time to get back to work on Tabitha. T2 sold giving me a nice little profit (after paying the £200 back) of a little over £600. It could have been more, but on the way to the MOT station, I found that it jumped out of 5th, so sold it as spares or repair, running with an MOT. Maybe my brother took the right option after all.

Lockdown, at least for the area I live in was over, but things were still not back to normal. For one thing, I ws still working from home. More time available for me to work on Tabitha and a little more cash available to spend on stuff I needed.

Having got her back on the bench, a quick inspection revealed more muck, cobwebs and general dust all over her, despite being covered up for the last few months. She needed another clean, so armed with a bucket and cloth, I started at the radiator & worked my way back.

I left the front forks as I needed to remove them to get them re-chromed, but removed the rear wheel as I felt it was the best way to give it a good clean. Sadly, all a clean revealed was that the wheels needed refurbishing - as do the foot rest hangers, another job on the list. I could leave them as they are, but the paint is flaking off & they look a bit scrappy.
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January 22, 2021, 07:07:10 PMReply #35 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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While the rear wheel was off, I noticed that there is a bracket that connects a small rubber sheet to the swing arm. This keeps road grime off the rear suspension. the bracket was corroded and two of the three rivets holding the rubber to the bracket were missing.

After some time, I managed to undo the retaining bolts and remove the bracket. 10 minutes with a wire brush attachment and a drill cleaned the rust off. It has now had two coats of etch primer and 4 coats of petrol resistant black paint.

It now looks a lot better and whether this is a turning point or not, I don't know. But this is the first part to go back on the Trophy.

Next up is stripping the forks, or getting the carbs cleaned, or refurbishing the wheels or...

One final point, I purchased a complete fairing bolt kit, so when I eventually get to that stage and assuming I haven't put them somewhere so safe, I can't find them, I'll have them to hand. I purchased them from Biker Bling and while the kit is for a 900 and not a 1200, I'm assured by early Trophy owners the fairings are the same for both models.

Time will tell.
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January 22, 2021, 09:25:43 PMReply #36 on

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innovative and a good result on the tank lock.  Viakal would work too! :icon_lol:
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January 22, 2021, 10:16:39 PMReply #37 on

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Well done on the tank lock and getting T2 done in between. Nice work. Too bad it jumped out of fifth gear. I guess you were too busy with the other bikes to want to bother to find out why. ;) Been there. ;)
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January 22, 2021, 11:57:28 PMReply #38 on

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Think it was probably the dog gear. I had a spare Tiger 955i engine in the garage, so could have repaired T2 but decided to concentrate time & money on the Trophy.

What I found interesting that riding the two Tigers back to back how different they were.
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January 23, 2021, 10:32:16 AMReply #39 on

Offline ghulst

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So, what were the differences? I have only had a steamer and an 800 XC and never tried a girly.
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January 23, 2021, 12:12:18 PMReply #40 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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One was an 06 Girly, the other an 05. You wouldn't think there was any difference, but the 06 pulled far better, despite the blue one having a TOR exhaust, K&N filter and the TOR map loaded on to the ECU. The TOR map is also loaded on to the silver one, with a standard can and air filterbut felt was smoother. The silver one and seemed to handle & brake better too.

I've never ridden any other versions of the Tiger, so cannot comment on them.

With the two 955i Tigers, I'd put it down to a number of different factors. While I rebuilt the brakes on both Girlys, new seals and replaced the brake fluid, they may have had different pads. The silver one had low mileage EBC Organic pads all round. the blue one, I don't know as I didn't fit them, the previous owner did, but the stopping power of the blue one was significantly less than the silver one. The blue was high mileage, from memory 123,000 miles & had been used mainly for commuting, whereas the silver one had a measly 64,000 miles and whilst it was used for commuting occasionally, was mostly pleasure rides. I took the spark plugs out of the blue one, to see what state they were in and one of them had a thich coating of engine oil, as did the airbox, so I suspected the piston rings were not sealing properly. Another reason why I decided to sell it as 'spares or repair'. It would also explain why it seemed down on power.

When I bought the silver one, approx 3.5 years ago, I refreshed the front suspension, new fork oil, seals and replaced the headstock bearings, chain & sprockets, spark plugs and a full service. Again, I didn't know the history of the blue one, only that it had been standing for about a year by the time I took it out for an MOT. All I did was clean it, replace the clutch and rebuild the brakes, enough to get an MOT but not much more.

The blue one had a taller screen when I bought it, but I replaced it with an after market standard height one, so wind buffeting at speed was a little worse than the silver one, with a standard screen but a wind deflector on the top of it.

Finally, the tyres, my silver Tiger has 80/20 (road/off road) tyres and the blue one 100% road based tyres.

All of which led to a very different ride experience.
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January 23, 2021, 01:15:01 PMReply #41 on

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Interesting. It makes me wonder if any other girly owners have experienced the same. The technical challenges of the blue one do seem to give ample reason for the bike to feel different.

But we are digressing. ;) Back to Tabitha!
Triumph Tiger 800XC '12 and a 1994 Ducati 600 SuperSport. - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993

January 23, 2021, 06:25:30 PMReply #42 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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It was time to tackle the valves. This was a job I’d only done once before, on my Tiger, so I was confident that it was a fairly easy job.

Now, I don’t know if/when this job was done on the Trophy before but according to the service schedule, it needs doing every 6000 miles. Armed with my Torx bits, the valve cover bolts came undone with ease and a short, sharp tap with the rubber mallet loosened the valve cover.

To be honest, the most difficult part of the whole job was turning the engine over to open each valve so I could check it. Even in 6th gear and turning the rear wheel (I had to put the rear wheel back in for this job) wasn’t that easy.

It turns out all the valves were within tolerance. Putting the valve cover back on was a bit of a challenge, even using silicon gasket as the service manual recommends. I ended up ‘sticking’ the gasket to the valve cover and leaving it overnight, so it didn’t move when replacing the cover. I had to replace the valve cover bolt gaskets, which I ordered from Sprint manufacturing, but apart from that, it was a low cost, easy job to complete.

One more job to tick off the list.

At this point, I’d estimated I would need around £1000 to put Tabitha back on the road and with £600 in the kitty from selling T2, things were looking up.

To give you an idea of where I thought I was, the carbs needed a good clean and rebuild, the fork stanchions need re-chroming, new tyres, brake pads, brake lines, front & rear brake switches (more on this later) fuel tap, chain & sprocket, the list goes on.

With the fork stanchions off the bike, they weren’t really that bad, once I’d cleaned them up, but it was still obvious they weren’t serviceable, so they were stripped down, cleaned with copious amounts of brake cleaner and packaged up ready to send off to Dynasurf. Some areas of the country were still effectively in lockdown and where Dynasurf is, was one of them. However, they were still open & taking work, so I was looking at a 21 day turnaround.

With the carbs out of the bike, and on the bench, I made a few enquiries as to the cost. There’s a new business local to me that was set up a few months ago by an ex-Triumph mechanic, who quoted me around £160 plus parts for the job. There are other places that can do the job cheaper but take in to account postage, it might work out around the same, so BJM in Baston (around 3 miles from me) got the job. What swung it for me was it supported a local, new business and I could drop off and pick up the carbs rather than rely on our presently overstretched postal service. There were likely to be other jobs going his way too, so building up that contact now is probably not a bad idea.

While the carbs were out, I checked the carb rubbers. Giving them a quick wash & brush up, then treating them with Autoglym Vinyl and Rubber Care. There are eight rubbers in all, four airbox to carb and four carb to engine. Only one of the eight had split.

As I had the Autoglym out, I took the opportunity to clean and treat all the rubber, vinyl and plastic I could find on the Trophy, that includes radiator hoses, brake lines (which I was due to replace), wiring loom, air intakes, clocks, fairing infill panels etc.
The bike might not be anywhere close to getting back on the road, but it now had lots of shiny bits on it.
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January 23, 2021, 06:34:38 PMReply #43 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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There's such a thing as Occam's Razor. Basically, it’s the problem-solving principle that "entities should not be multiplied without necessity", or more simply, the simplest explanation is usually the right one.

I mention this as I had a problem rear its ugly head when checking Tabitha’s electrics.

Since bringing the bike home way back in February (we’re now well into September), I’ve not so much as connected the battery, let alone tried to switch anything on.

It was time to do something about it. I had put the original battery on charge although it’s old and unlikely to hold a decent charge, I was hoping it would be enough to at least switch the lights on. Also, to test the lights, I needed to connect them, which meant attaching the nose cone, which in turn meant re-attaching the bracket the nose cone is attached to.

Over one Saturday (aside from cleaning parts) I pulled all the bodywork down from the attic space in the garage and ended up re-attaching not only the nose cone but all the fairing, indicators, mirrors and rear fairing as well. I stood back and admired my hover bike in all its glory, before admitting that without wheels and a seat, it was going nowhere and removed the fairing again.

With the battery on charge most of the day, I reconnected it and found that it was pushing out a staggering 5.4v. I reconnected the charger and boosted it to 10v, still not ideal but I switched the ignition on anyway, it should be enough to show me if the lights work.

I immediately got two lights on the dash, the Oil warning light and the neutral light. Oddly, the rev counter also burst into life and showed a steady 6000rpm. Odd I thought, it appears my hover bike also has a silent engine. I switched the side light on, the rev counter needle began bouncing around like Tigger as the rear light came on, (the front side light didn’t).

I once owned an Aprilia that could indicate something was amiss when switched on, by indicating a specific RPM as a code for what was wrong.

It seems that Triumph, in their infinite wisdom, built in an error code to their rev counter and I’m guessing that 6000rpm means the battery is f**ked – who knew?
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January 23, 2021, 06:43:03 PMReply #44 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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I thought it best to get a new battery now so off I went to Halfords & picked one up for a mere £49.00. Back in the man cave, in goes the new battery and I turn the ignition on. Same two warning lights but this time the rev counter showed 0000rpm, just like it should. A check of the electrical system showed everything seemed to be fine.

I ran a check on the temp gauge by pulling the connector from the sensor and earthing it – the temp gauge went from C to H as it should. There’s no temp warning light on this bike.

Next up was the fan, again, pulling the connector and using a jump cable operated the fan. Whether the switch works will have to wait until I have the bike running.

With the tank on, I connected the low fuel sender and after about a minute, the low fuel light came on. I also put the side stand down and the warning light came on.  Both horns work which surprised me and the pass switch also works. As does high and low beam (along with the high beam warning light).

There were two problems, the stop light wasn’t working, nor were the indicators. I could hear the indicator relay click once but that was it, no indicators or hazard lights. The relay was suspected and after pulling it, cleaning the connectors and reconnecting it again, the indicators and hazard lights worked fine.

Now to the stop lights. First to check were the bulbs. I swapped them over with ones I knew worked and but still no brake lights, so it’s not the bulbs. I thought I’d test the voltage running to the rear light cluster. 11.8v to the tail light when switched on 0v as expected when off. The brake light was a different result. 0.19v when off and 5.8v when on. It seemed I have a short somewhere.

I could hear the front brake light switch clicking, but not the rear one, so disconnected the front switch first and tested the voltage again – same result. Next, I disconnected the rear switch and reconnected the front. Another voltage test, the same result. Some head scratching ensued before I decided to trace the earth connectors on the bike, clean them and reconnect them.

This was probably a good idea anyway as I had no idea if the earth connectors were sound. They needed doing.
Same tests yielded the same results. Time for some continuity tests on the wiring, both +ve and earth circuits were tested but showed nothing. Unlikely as it seems, the only other explanation and one I discounted earlier was that both brake switches had failed. I disconnected both then using a jump wire, bypassed the switches. The brake light came on. I’m reminded of Occam’s razor.

More items for the shopping list then, although I have a spare rear brake master cylinder from the Tiger, it wasn’t interchangeable, probably down to the 13 years difference in age.

Now I know that the electrics work, off came the bodywork again.
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