Author Topic: Tabitha 1200  (Read 1058 times)

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January 23, 2021, 06:50:38 PMReply #45 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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You may recall I wrote in to Practical Sportsbike magazine ago for help in un-locking the fuel cap on my Trophy.
In mid September I was contacted by Alan Seeley, a features writer asking if they could come over and do a piece for their Resto SOS section. Now while I was confident in my abilities to finish getting Tabitha back on the road, a little help is never turned down, especially when those offering the help are far more experienced than myself. After all, I’m just a desk jockey with no real training in things mechanical.

The knock on the door came at 7.00pm one Thursday evening, Alan turning up first followed a few minutes later by a photographer, and I apologise for not remembering your name (something to upset photographers around the world). Sometime later Gary Hurd arrives and the bike chat begins. I won’t go over what was discussed as we were chatting for over 3 hours, but one thing I found out earlier in the day is that Tabitha has been off the road for around 12 years before I got her. I mentioned earlier that Keith laid her up in the garden when he bought a Speed Triple. I had a sneeky look at his Facebook profile which showed some photos of his Speed Triple going back to 2008. This ties in with there being no on-line MOT record (introduced in 2006).

Most of the Tabitha related chat was around work I’d already done and I’m happy to report that I was going in the right direction. Gary offered me a few tips, things I hadn’t considered when working on bikes in general, including buying some JIS screwdrivers. I’d thought about this a while ago but never really thought they could be that much different from normal posidrive screwdrivers.

I’m told they are and well worth the expense, so I’ll be looking out for some soon.

Gary took a long look at the carbs, taking off one of the float bowls to see what condition they’re in and to my surprise, they were not too bad. Don’t get me wrong, they weren’t good, far from serviceable, but considering how long they’d been stood, not too bad either. One of the carb caps needs replacing and the rubber caps that cover where you’d connect a vacuum gauge to balance them, is missing (turns out it was supposed to be missing as that's where the fuel tap connects). I think the float also needs replacing but apart from that, a good clean and replacement jets should see them serviceable again. Gary even volunteered to come back and balance them for me when the time comes (something about a follow up article).

Gary confirmed that the fork stanchions were corroded beyond use and suggested new ones. I’m not too sure he agreed with my plan to send them off to Dynasurf, but he didn’t discourage me either. He also confirmed I need to replace the brake lines, chain & sprocket and rebuild the carbs, which I already knew and had budgeted for. However, he also mentioned the rear shock needed replacing as well as the rear brake disc, adding around £600 to the project cost.

He also suggested while the rear of the bike is striped down (because of replacing the shock) to lube the swing arm (was on my list) and I also might want to consider dropping the headstock and regreasing the bearings. The steering feels ok, no notchiness, but while the forks were out, it would be silly not to do it anyway.

There was some discussion around the fuel tank as there is some rust in there and it looks like the liner could be flaking. Alan suggests getting it properly treated while Gary suggested giving it a good clean out and throwing some fresh fuel in it. As I suspected, I need a complete new fuel tap, rather than just a rebuild kit, which I was going to do anyway as the filter attached to the tap has had it & cannot be replaced separately. I also need t buy a new fuel tap knob anyway as the original plastic one is broken. It’s going to cost me £40 more than a rebuild kit, but if I’m going to do it, it might as well be done right.
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January 23, 2021, 06:58:45 PMReply #46 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Alan pointed out that the finish on the footrest hangers are flaking and asked what I intended to do about it. I considered spraying them black, as I have the mirror brackets but if I did that, I’d then need to also spray other bits of engine covers black, so I think I’ll see if I can find a Gray/silver to match & spray them.

The wheels also need looking at. Whether I spray them myself or get them powder coated, I hadn’t decided at that point. They were silver as standard, so I also needed to consider if I wanted them the same colour or not. I eventually decisded to get them powder coated in silver... or black.. or maybe silver. Truth is, I'll probably decide that on the day I take them in t be done.

So, every day’s a school day. I’m pretty much on the right track, there are a few things I didn’t really think about, some things in all honesty, I thought I might get away with but it seems not, but for the most part, I’m doing what needs to be done in the right way.

With all the extra cost, and given the project cost to date (£370.00 as at 25th September), the estimate for completing the project was around £1800, probably what the bike would be worth if I was to sell it (which I’m not planning to do). A quick look on-line suggests anything from £1400 up to £2100 for early Hinkley Trophy’s (as at Deptember 2020), so even if I did sell her, I’d be lucky to break even, cost wise. Besides which, I agreed to ride her back to Bletchley and show Keith when I’ve finished her.

The Carbs

I got in contact with BJM Motorcycles in Baston and dropped the carbs off to Ben to get them cleaned & rebuilt. I told him there was no hurry as the bike was off the road anyway. I also removed the brakes and brake lines, ready for replacement and as the callipers had already been rebuilt, I just needed to replace the brake lines and pads and they’ll ready to go back on the bike.

I also managed to free up the brake lever bolt that was firmly corroded to the bracket but not without destroying it. I asked Ben (BJM) to get me a replacement, which he was happy to do.

Finally, I sent the fork stanchions to Dynasurf, who are operating on a 4-5 week turnaround. I’m not bothered as it’ll take far longer than that to do the other jobs highlighted by the Practical Sportsbike boys including dealing with what Alan called 'Brewers droop'  :bug_eye
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January 23, 2021, 10:31:35 PMReply #47 on

Offline ghulst

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After reading this (and keep those updates coming... I can see Practical Sportsbike Magazine approaching you to do a monthly wrench-column ;) ) it has left me wondering whether we have now caught up with where you are currently at, or whether there is more to come?
Triumph Tiger 800XC '12 and a 1994 Ducati 600 SuperSport. - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993

January 23, 2021, 11:31:26 PMReply #48 on

Offline Lee337 (OP)

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Almost caught up. We're around the end of September at the moment, but I'm going to cut down posts to one a day. If I don't, I might run out before I've finished the bike.
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January 24, 2021, 11:57:55 AMReply #49 on

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Hahahaha, probably a good thought. But these have been fun to read so far!
Triumph Tiger 800XC '12 and a 1994 Ducati 600 SuperSport. - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993

January 24, 2021, 01:52:30 PMReply #50 on

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No, not me, the bike, or to be a little more specific, the suspension drag link.

I could definitely see a time when Tabitha would be back on the road. Before that, Murphy’s Law struck again.
I spent the first part of the weekend removing the original rear shock and to my disappointment, found the drag link was broken. A little research on line, first to see how much one would cost and then how easy it would be to remove, revealed many posts on many forums across multiple Hinkley models, all suffering the same fate. One particular post was interesting as it described the battle to have it replaced under warranty.

The claim failed with Triumph stating the likely cause was the pinch bolt being tightened up too much. The interesting point was the local Triumph dealer agreeing to complete the work as a gesture of good will. Are Triumph trying to hide something? I don’t know but it doesn’t help me with a 27-year-old bike, even if it has been standing for many years.

While I found a few replacements on that well known auction site, all 2nd hand, and for reasonable money, I also found that Fowlers of Bristol have them for less than £100 and as I’m replacing the shock, I thought it best to buy new, especially as there’s no guarantee a 2nd hand part will last, given the number of failures I’ve read about. Add in needle bearings and seals and it came to just shy of £120.

I ordered a YSS rear shock from Brook Suspension and a quick look at my account showed itto be on back order, as was the Drag link. I sent off my fork legs to Dynasurf who have a 4-5 week turnaround, so that's the suspension sorted.

I didn't have much to do in the garage, so what I did do was cut the chain off as it needs replacing anyway and that gave me a little more access to remove the broken drag link.

It never occurred to me at that time I might want the chain left on the bike to help me undo the front sprocket nut when I came to replace the chain and sprockets. You live, but sometimes you don’t learn.

It was not an easy task getting to the drag link bolts as the exhaust gets in the way and the bolt, tightened to 100nm was a real pain to undo. Once off, there was more cleaning to do. I also removed the rear brake and brake lines ready for when I’ve got more funds to buy them.

Yes, I know I had the cash from the sale of T2, but all the suspension work that needed doing ate into those funds and more.

Despite being on back order, Fowlers of Bristol supplied me with a new drag link within a couple of days of ordering the part. I also ordered new roller bearings and thrust seals.

The only complaint I had was that the bearings were sent separately. You see, Fowlers say free postage if the order is over £50, which the drag link was. But as the needle bearings were in stock and the drag link wasn’t, they were sent separately. Postage paid for the needle bearings; no postage paid for the drag link. They turned up on consecutive days and while the postage wasn’t a huge amount, I’d rather have received them in the same delivery.



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January 24, 2021, 04:28:01 PMReply #51 on

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I don't subscribe to the RAT forum, many years ago I got fed up with the number of "experts" that seemed to have a solution to everything  :augie

It's a pity you had to buy a new one as I have several in the loft  :icon_redface: If these linkages are lubricated (you'd be surprised how many owners don't know they can be greased) and properly torqued (again what is it that people find difficult with a torque wrench, especially on alloy) they shouldn't be a problem. That's the first drag link I've seen like that and I've had a few apart, although the later ones had a different pin securing arrangement with grub screws so maybe there is something in it, probably to make it a bit more muppet proof  :icon_rolleyes:.

Did you have the swing arm out to refresh the bearings? It's a must do even if it is a pain, there are 4 large'ish needle roller bearings in there that you cannot grease without taking the swing arm out. I'm in the process of a mod to allow that as it's always been something that bugged me. While I'm a fan of needle roller bearings as opposed to bronze bushes, they don't take kindly to rotating over the same 15 degree arc for years without good grease and contrary to what anyone might say, grease dries out, gets hard and stops being effective, that sounds like my ageing in reverse  :icon_lol:

Enjoying your efforts and I did consider writing up Edna's story but I don't want this forum to turn into a Trophy shed. Unless I built a 1200/4 Steamer  :cp NO MORE PROJECTS  :*&*
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January 24, 2021, 05:14:37 PMReply #52 on

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That postage thing is just stupid. In my opinion, if they choose to ship them separately, they should pay for that choice. Not you.

Enjoying your efforts and I did consider writing up Edna's story but I don't want this forum to turn into a Trophy shed.
Well, that is what we created this part of the forum for. ;) Feel free to do the write-up. I think we all feel free to read it. ;)
Triumph Tiger 800XC '12 and a 1994 Ducati 600 SuperSport. - Ex Triumph Tiger 900 T400 1993

January 24, 2021, 06:53:25 PMReply #53 on

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The PS journos said to regrease the needle bearings in the swing arm & to date the only thing I haven't done that they suggested is replace the rear disc brake.
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January 25, 2021, 03:02:27 AMReply #54 on

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Is your rear caliper a top mount?
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

January 25, 2021, 09:47:43 AMReply #55 on

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January 25, 2021, 06:41:19 PMReply #56 on

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The drag link was redesigned by Triumph as it no longer uses pinch bolts to secure the spindle. There is now a screw that tightens everything up or in my case, a couple of Allen bolts I happened to have lying around, shortened and filed down to fit.

Also turning up on the same day as the drag link was the new YSS shock. I decided to weigh them both (the shocks that is)to see what the difference was. There’s around 2kg difference between the original and the new YSS unit, not that I’ll notice any difference in riding or handling, after all I’ve never ridden a Trophy of any kind, let alone a 28 year old one.

I refit the drag link and rear shock to the bike. This meant fitting the new needle bearings to the drag link, a task made easier using an old bush extractor I bought many years ago when I had a Ford Cortina based kit car. With a little thought, I used the extractor to squeeze the needle bearings in without problem. Putting everything back together and on the bike was far easier than stripping it all out.

Despite my ‘15 minutes of fame’, work continues. I refitted the battery box and coolant expansion tank and repaired the small rubber mudflap that sits between the swing arm and inner rear mudguard. Yes, I know I’d done it before but when I first removed the shock, I forgot to unbolt the rubber flap bracket from the swing arm and the rivets got pulled through the rubber.

Amongst all the other lists I’ve put together, such as a list of jobs, project costs, estimated cost to complete the job, parts list & suppliers, I’ve now created a checklist which gives me a simple list of jobs needed to complete and a rough order. It was kept in the garage on a clipboard so I could see my progress.

It began with 32 separate jobs but the list slowly gets smaller and smaller as jobs are completed. There were some biggies on it and as a simple list, didn’t mention all the small, little but none the less essential jobs, such as flushing the fuel tank, or removing the wheel bearings prior to getting them refurbished. It did give me a nice little paper plan and an order though.

With a few extra hours to spare at the weekend, after shopping, cleaning and all those other little domestic chores you need to do to keep 'er in doors happy, I refitted the exhaust end cans, which I removed for easier access to the drag link, greased the drop links where they attach to the drag link and while the grease was out another little job that the PS guys identified while they were here a few weeks ago.

What I thought would be an easy job, re-greasing the headstock bearings turned out to be just that. Aided by the forks being missing and presumed at Dynasurf awaiting work, it was as simple as undoing the domed nut, undoing the two bearing adjusters and the bottom yoke just drops out. It is now liberally coated in fresh grease and the bearings adjusted. I will have to re-adjust them once the front end is back together but for now, it’s all good.



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January 26, 2021, 01:11:15 AMReply #57 on

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The reason I asked about the caliper mounting is that Daytona's, Mk2 Throphy's and Sprint Executives have the underslung calipers which are attached to the frame by a torque arm rather than directly to the swing arm on others. The caliper carrier plate has a needle roller bearing (yes another one  :icon_rolleyes:) to allow the caliper to move relative to the frame when the swing arm moves. Every one I've ever taken apart has been seized as have the bushes for the torque arm at both the caliper carrier and frame ends. I have often had to resort to drilling out bush bolts or welding plates on to get them apart.

If it doesn't swing freely, it will put undue force on the suspension, particularly during braking with higher compression load on the rear. I suspect many people blame shocks for deteriorating handling when it could be down to neglected maintenance on these three vital points. It's not a problem with the top mounts but I strongly suggest refitting the bolt through the torque arm and caliper carrier with some blue locking fluid, I've had one come loose and fall out on the Steamer  :icon_eek: the tiny lug to limit the carrier movement breaks very easily and then the caliper will hit the swing arm when you brake and swings back until the brake hose stops it going the other way. Slightly unnerving even if you are going very slowly  :nod

Where the YSS preload adjuster rings are positioned, that earlier mudguard flap can be in the way for adjusting them, it's a problem on the Steamer with the stock shock. I modified the bottom, instead of riveting on directly, I made two small plates to fit either side of the flap and then used alloy M5 rivnuts and SUS cap screws through the lower steel angle plate to secure it. Two benefits as I see it, the plates have a more even hold on the rubber flap and so the rivets are less likely to pull out (not enough room to fit larger washers) and removing 3 screws to allow the flap to be moved clear to adjust the preload saves me struggling trying to hold the nuts below the swing arm and turn the screws above at the same time.
I used to have long hair, took acid and went to hip joints. Now I long for hair, take antacid and need a new hip joint

January 26, 2021, 08:29:56 AMReply #58 on

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I was looking at that picture and trying to think about what was wrong there. I could not imagine my Steamer having an underslung brake caliper. Then, I potted the bolt missing. And as I read through it, it turned out that it shouldn't actually be like that... That looks scary!
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January 26, 2021, 05:59:05 PMReply #59 on

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The reason I asked about the caliper mounting is that Daytona's, Mk2 Throphy's and Sprint Executives have the underslung calipers which are attached to the frame by a torque arm rather than directly to the swing arm on others. The caliper carrier plate has a needle roller bearing (yes another one  :icon_rolleyes:) to allow the caliper to move relative to the frame when the swing arm moves. Every one I've ever taken apart has been seized as have the bushes for the torque arm at both the caliper carrier and frame ends. I have often had to resort to drilling out bush bolts or welding plates on to get them apart.

If it doesn't swing freely, it will put undue force on the suspension, particularly during braking with higher compression load on the rear. I suspect many people blame shocks for deteriorating handling when it could be down to neglected maintenance on these three vital points. It's not a problem with the top mounts but I strongly suggest refitting the bolt through the torque arm and caliper carrier with some blue locking fluid, I've had one come loose and fall out on the Steamer  :icon_eek: the tiny lug to limit the carrier movement breaks very easily and then the caliper will hit the swing arm when you brake and swings back until the brake hose stops it going the other way. Slightly unnerving even if you are going very slowly  :nod

Where the YSS preload adjuster rings are positioned, that earlier mudguard flap can be in the way for adjusting them, it's a problem on the Steamer with the stock shock. I modified the bottom, instead of riveting on directly, I made two small plates to fit either side of the flap and then used alloy M5 rivnuts and SUS cap screws through the lower steel angle plate to secure it. Two benefits as I see it, the plates have a more even hold on the rubber flap and so the rivets are less likely to pull out (not enough room to fit larger washers) and removing 3 screws to allow the flap to be moved clear to adjust the preload saves me struggling trying to hold the nuts below the swing arm and turn the screws above at the same time.

Some good tips there, keep them coming. Every day's a school day.  :qgaraduate
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