Other Beasts => Other Bikes => Topic started by: Lee337 on January 19, 2021, 07:13:06 PM

Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 19, 2021, 07:13:06 PM
Tabitha is a 1993 Triumph Trophy 1200. She was first registered on 4th August 1993 and lived most of her life in the Milton Keynes area.

She’s the first of the bikes designed and produced by Triumph Motorcycles Ltd, established in 1983 by John Bloor after Triumph Engineering went bust and new triumphs were rolling off the production line by 1991. Made in Hinkley, the first Triumph Trophy 1200 was released into the wild in March of that year.

Tabitha’s first owner bought her new and owned her for around 11 years before her 2nd owner bought her on 28th  August 2004 and here’s where her story gets a little muddy. What I know for certain is that when I acquired her, she’d been sitting in a back garden for a number of years under a tarpaulin.

This is the story of how Tabitha came to be resting in my garage, alongside my 2006 Triumph Tiger 955i, how she got her name and at least some of the story of how she got back on the road.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 19, 2021, 07:15:39 PM
What I know for certain is that when I acquired her, she’d been sitting in a back garden for a number of years under a tarpaulin.

Man, that image is enough to make people tremble... Fantastic that you picked her up. Looking forward to the story!
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 19, 2021, 07:20:23 PM
I’d been looking for a project bike for some time and had even bought a 1989 Honda CB-1, a 400cc import some years ago. This was pretty much a non starter as while I’d stripped it down, well, most of it was already in boxes anyway, I hadn’t done as much as I intended. I managed to get the frame shot blasted and resprayed it, fitted new head bearings but then ill health got in the way and the project was pretty much shelved, or to be more accurate, atticed. It’s currently sitting in the attic of my garage, where it will probably stay, at least until I’ve finished my current crop of projects.

Then in November 2019, I was offered a 2005 Triumph Tiger 955i. The seller (a member here) said it needed a good clean and a new clutch, maybe a couple of other things, so I thought this would be a nice easy project for me to do over winter. The idea was to keep it as a green lane bike. It was another 3 months before I got around to picking it up.

In the mean time, I knew of a Triumph that had been sitting in someone’s back garden for some time through my Uncle Mike. I’d made a couple of enquiries over the years but nothing really came of it. Then during Christmas 2019, Mike said he’d spoken to Keith (the owner of said Triumph) and I could have it, I just needed to go and pick it up.

At the time I didn’t have any details other than it was a Triumph. I didn't know the age, model, condition mileage, even colour. But, it was a free bike, Keith didn’t want anything for it.I even offered a case of beer (Keith is known to like a sip or two), he refused, I just needed to take it away.

So it was, one January day in 2020 myself and my brother, Paul, hopped in his car and off we went to Bletchley (Milton Keynes), with trailer attached, graciously loaned by another Paul, a member of my local Triumph Owners Motorcycle Club (TOMCC). Now both Paul and I know Bletchley fairly well as we have family there and it turns out Keith lives not far from where my parents lived around 50 years ago, not that I remember much about that house other than the name of the road and where it was, so finding Keith’s address was easy. It helped that his rather distinctive car was parked outside.

Not long after we arrived, so did my Uncle Mike. Keith’s sister had the kettle on as soon as we walked in the door and before long there were 6 of us in the kitchen tucking in to Bacon and Black Pudding butties with our coffee.
I still hadn’t seen the Triumph but was told it had one headlight and was blue.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 19, 2021, 07:37:10 PM
Keith had uncovered it before we arrived but it had been left untouched for around 3 years. He had got it started at that time but it was running rough, which he suspected was down to the carbs. It ran ok above 4000rpm but like a dog below that.

The story is that it was laid up in his garden when he bought a Street Triple, around 5 years ago. He’s since traded in the Street Triple for a Triumph Scrambler. He thought about selling the Trophy at one point but as he couldn’t get it running properly, just put it back in the garden and covered it up again. The side panels had been removed and because the petrol tap was leaking, the tank had been drained, then it ws just left.

In Keith’s words ’ I just want it to go to someone who’ll get it back on the road again, rather than strip it down for parts. One condition, when it’s done, ride it back to show me’. I can do that Keith. 

As expected, the brakes were seized and both tyres were flat, so it was a five man job getting it out of the garden and on to the trailer (me, Paul, Mike, Keith and a friend of Keith’s)  and things didn’t get any better.

I’d brought three ratchet straps with me to tie down the Trophy, two of them snapped almost as soon as we tied the bike down. This was the point I realised they’d been sitting on a shelf in the garage for 16 years, so I borrowed a strap from Mike and with some nylon rope, secured the bike for it’s trip home.

I still knew very little of the bike or it’s history aside from what Keith told me so as Paul and I wheeled it on to the workbench, I felt a little research coming on.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 19, 2021, 08:28:27 PM
Great story.  :><  Really enjoying the read.

Did you get the side panels? When I go pick up a bike that has been sitting, I always bring a tire pump and I always have a little 12V air compressor in the van. When you get the tires inflated, often the brakes can be coerced to release their grip. Or I loosen the brake bolts to get the calipers off, so I can push it on a trailer. Oh, and straps are vital. I always carry lots. Which is mainly because once I picked up an XJ550 on the back of a flat non-motorcycle trailer and I thought I lost it on a speed bump. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 19, 2021, 09:35:43 PM
Yep, got side panels, they'd been removed but were in the shed. Only thing I didn't get were the fairing bolts, which I now have.

I did have a small compressor and could have loosened off the brakes, but there were 5 of us, so it was easily manhandled out of the garden & on to the trailer. Once I got it home, my brother & I manhandled it onto the bench.

To be honest, I didn't really think about removing the calipers as we managed to get it rolling.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 19, 2021, 09:48:22 PM
Always better to get it rolling. ;) I like to inflate the tires, so that I would be able to get those friends to join me on one of those trips again. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 20, 2021, 02:02:38 AM
This is going to be good  :new_popcornsmiley

Tabitha, not named after the cat that customised the seat by any chance  ;)

The coatings on the casings look very good, don't they put salt on their chips in Milton Keynes?
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 10:25:02 AM
There is a reason for the name, not cat related but all will be revealed later.

The engine casings aren't too bad, even close up although not perfect.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 05:53:27 PM
It wasn’t in the best of condition, not surprising really and a quick glance showed there was going to be a lot of work to get it back anywhere close to roadworthy. First look showed:

I could also see that the chain was rusted and the entire bike was covered in spider poo, cobwebs and dust/dirt of varying sizes. I even found some straw tucked behind the rear shock.
On the plus side everything seemed to be there aside from the fairing bolts. After taking copious photo’s, I shut the garage door and left it while I put together a plan.

Title: Tabitha 1200 Some history
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 05:58:51 PM
The Trophy is a 1993 model, first registered on 4th June 1993 and is one of the early Hinkley Triumphs. It has a 4 cylinder 1180cc engine with a claimed output of 141bhp.

My Trophy has had two owners prior to me, Keith purchased it in 2004. At that time, it had covered approximately 12,000 miles and including two European trips, Keith rode it another 5000 miles (approx.) before he bought a Speed Triple and parked it up in his back garden.

I’m the 3rd owner of this Caspian Blue Trophy and it’s mileometer is sitting firmly at 17,128 miles. I acquired it on 18th January 2020. The original colour for blue Trophy’s was Caribbean Blue, but a model update in 1992 led to the Caspian Blue colour of my bike. At the same time, the 1200 Trophy became the Trophy 4 to distinguish it from the 3 cylinder 900cc version.

Aside from looking up the specification, I also decided to look up the MOT history, except there isn’t one. Now I’m certain that Keith wouldn’t have ridden it without an MOT and as the on-line MOT checker was introduced in 2006, there seemed to be some doubt as to how long the Trophy had been sitting doing nothing.

Keith said he parked it up when he bought his Speed Triple and a quick search on his Facebook page shows a photograph of his Speed Triple dated sometime in 2008. This would seem to tie in to the on-line MOT checker not showing any history. Assuming the bike had an MOT at the time, the latest it could have run out would be 2007 for it not to be recorded (max of 12 months after the on-line system was introduced).
It appears that the Trophy was sitting doing nothing for closer to 12 years.
Title: Tabitha 1200 Making a start
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 06:02:29 PM
With the Trophy sitting in the garage, I left it alone for a while so I could come up with a plan. I managed to find a Triumph Service Manual and also had a Haynes Manual, one of the few things that came with the bike, so I put together a service schedule, the idea being I’d go through the bike and action every item on the schedule, including renewing brake lines, coolant pipes, fluids etc.

Armed with a sort of plan, I confidently walked in to the garage and…


The confidence went out the gaping open garage door and I just stared at this Trophy sitting on my workbench. I sat there, staring at it while I drank my coffee then, armed with the one key that came with it, carefully inserted it into the ignition and turned the key. Nothing, nada, nowt, not even a faint glow from the dash. I wasn’t expecting anything really, but I thought I’d give it a try.

Next up, the fuel tank. In goes the key to the fuel cap lock, a quarter of a turn and nothing, nada, nowt. No click as the lock turned in the barrel, no fuel cap popping open and try as I might, I could not turn the key far enough to open it. What’s more, the key was beginning to bend. I had some WD40, so sprayed the lock, then left it. I was going to get another key cut before I tried that again.

I thought I’d start off with the easy stuff, by removing the seat, all the bodywork and fuel tank, just to see what lies underneath. Each fairing panel was hoovered, washed and polished with Autoglym car polish, before being stored in the attic above the garage.

Depending on your perspective, depends on whether what I found when removing the bodywork was a horror show or not. The bike itself appeared sound, again nothing missing but it was what had been added that would horrify some.

It seemed the whole bike was covered in spider webs, spider egg sacs and spider poo.

Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 06:06:13 PM
It’s not every day you start cleaning your bike with a hoover but it seemed the best way to get rid of most of the spider stuff that had accumulated over the years. You'll be pleased to know I didn’t use the better half’s hoover, I have an old one in the garage I use when cleaning the cars, and it was a fun filled few minutes emptying the bag after I’d finished.

Next up, armed with soapy water and a damp cloth, I started removing the spider poo and any remaining cobwebs.

I also removed the battery to put it on charge and see what condition it’s in, and the rear brake calliper from the bike so I could free up the wheel. This allowed me to check the gearbox. By rocking the wheel back and forth allowed me to run through the gearbox, 1 – 6 and back again and despite the engine/gearbox not being turned over for at least 3 years, probably longer, it seemed to go through the gears easily. However, the clutch doesn’t work.

The last thing I did was to put the rear fairing back on, mainly because I’m having space issues and there’s nowhere else to put it where it won’t get in the way.

Title: Tabitha 1200 Fuel cap woes
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 06:11:45 PM
There are, I'm sure many lows in this project, some of which I needed assistance with. The fuel cap is one such low. I'd watched a couple of videos on YouTube to see how other people solved the problem.

Armed with this new-found knowledge, my first angle of attack was to again fill the lock with penetrating fluid.
This time I used Duck oil then left it for 20 minutes. This didn't work. Next armed with a rubber mallet, I hit the filer cap which is supposed to help dislodge the corrosion that is sticking the locking mechanism. This didn't work and I could see a pattern emerging here.

I'd seen another video which suggests picking the lock with a couple of pieces of wire and a screwdriver. This allows you to apply more torque to the lock. However, the video also suggested that there's a good chance of breaking the lock, so I didn't try this one. Yet another suggestion was that you may be able to gain access to the locking mechanism from the underside of the tank and removing the fuel tap and low fuel sensor. This seemed a sensible approach, having a Triumph Tiger with a hand sized access panel, I thought I'd give this a go.

Off came the rear fairing again and three bolts later (it should be 4) I removed the fuel lines from the tap and lifted the fuel tank off. On to the workbench it went and as I turned it over, I could see two possible ways to access the inside of the tank. The fuel sender is too small, being only around 20mm and having removed the fuel tap, I could see this solution was a little more difficult than I thought. Another suggestion from the good and wise YouTube contributors that didn't work.

There was a small amount of petrol still in the tank, although it smelled more of turpentine than petrol. By shining a torch through the fuel sender hole, I could just make out that the inside of the tank appears rusty (was hoping it wouldn't be) but I couldn't see the underside of the fuel filler cap. Despite that, I sprayed the inside of the tank liberally with Duck Oil and left it upside down on the bench to see if I can free the lock up that way. In case it doesn't work, I ordered an Endoscope camera with integral LED lights I can attach to my tablet or phone to see if I can see what's going on inside the tank.

Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 20, 2021, 06:21:08 PM
You may be surprised to hear, Duck oil didn%u2019t work. Another 24 hours of soaking in a mix of stale petrol and Duck Oil and still no joy with the fuel cap. It seems I need another rethink. While I was leaving the tank to soak, I needed another problem to keep me entertained, so I started looking at the brakes.

I removed the front brake callipers and pads from the bike and used the hydraulic pressure to free up the cylinders. One side was freed up but while working on the other side, the brake fluid was pumped out of the master cylinder. No problem, I thought, just remove the cap and put some more in, I have an opened bottle somewhere which would be good enough for the job.

Of the two screws holding the master cylinder cap on, I chewed the one made of cheese and the other was firmly stuck. I'm going to have to drill them out.

A quick but necessary job as both screws were well and truly chewed from my attempts to undo them. The clutch master cylinder cap screws were the same but they can wait a while, until I'm ready to make a start on the engine.

Once I managed to remove the cap on the master cylinder, I cleaned out all the crud that had accumulated in the bottom of the fluid reservoir, then topped it up. I still couldn't manage to pump it through the hydraulic system, I suspect the seal on the master cylinder has gone and needs replacing. However, I tied the brake lever back to the grip to see if the air trapped in the line will rise out and thought I'd have another look in the morning.

More thinking late at night and I thought I'd better rebuild the whole brake system and replace all the seals, after all, it is a safety critical bit of bike. There are plenty of places to get kits from. I also decided to purchase a pair of brake piston pliers as I have 10 pistons to remove (front and back). Should make it easier and speed things up a bit.

I think it's also time to spend some money on seals for both front brake callipers.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Bixxer Bob on January 20, 2021, 09:15:15 PM
My guess is the real problem is the actual lock mechanism that pushes the two lugs into the neck of the tank, rather than the lock cylinder. But maybe you already know that. 

My approach would be lots of penetrative fluid (not WD40) via the lock cylinder so that it permeated down into the mechanism .   Then heat it with a hot air paint stripper, being careful not to heat the paintwork. Use a wet towel or similar. Then apply firm pressure on the filler cap so that you remove the friction of the tank neck while starting to attempt to wiggle it free.

I've picked locks, you aren't going to gain much from that idea.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 21, 2021, 09:58:37 AM
As I was reading this, I was wondering whether you couldn't just remove the filler cap altogether. I thought it was one with hex bolts around it? Or is that not the case on this model?

Also, you can get pliers to get the brake cylinders out, but another one would be air pressure. I have done that before. Do make sure to put a bit of wood in the calipers so you don't have them flying off in dangerous directions. But if you have a compressor, that should make lighter work of getting them out.

Gripping read, by the way. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 21, 2021, 01:34:17 PM
There's another screw under the cap that you can only reach with the cap flipped open.

I'd suspect the drain pipe from the filler recess might be blocked and that has at least been in partnership with the spiders, attached is a Tech Article I wrote for the local Classic club that might offer some help, it's not on YT  :icon_lol: Never park your bike near a Land Rover, LR spiders are vicious.

Back filling the drain with release fluid of preference with the tank upside down might help.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 01:37:25 PM
Maybe I'll post the next instalment up later. Don't want to give the game away too early.

What I will say is that I only have a couple of jobs left to get it back on the road (& the fuel tank isn't one of them)  :hat10
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 21, 2021, 01:39:57 PM
OOOps  :icon_redface: apologies if I jumped the gun  :new_popcornsmiley
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 01:44:10 PM
No apology needed, I could have posted the whole story in one go, but the suspense is killing you  :ImaPoser
Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 05:43:42 PM
Back to the fuel cap and I finally got around to looking inside the tank to see what state the underside of the fuel filler cap was in.

I bought a cheap endoscope from eBay which connects to my phone. It works quite well but the wire is a little flimsy. I had to tape the end of the ‘scope to a piece of wooden dowelling I had lying around (that I use to measure the chain slack on my Tiger).

First time I used it, I could barely see a thing, then I realised there was a control near the USB end that allows you to turn up the brightness of the LEDs surrounding the lens.

A picture, in this case, is better than a thousand words. The locking mechanism is covered in what looks like limescale, not that I think that’s what it is, it just looks like it. I tried a bit more duck oil but as the lock has been soaking in a mixture of stale fuel, Duck Oil and WD40 for best part of a week and was still seized, I thought I’d try another trick from that on-line mechanical repository, known as YouTube.

I have an electric sander, so attached a cloth to the base and pressed it to the top of the fuel cap. The theory is that the vibrations will loosen any corrosion and allow you to open it. I tried this for around 5 minutes but the only key I have started to bend, so I stopped.

Next thing to try is to either soak it in diesel or Plusgas.

Meanwhile, more cleaning is needed. More hoovering and more cleaning and the panels came up a treat. I had to remove the internal mouldings to give them a good clean and even without a good polish, they’re in a remarkable condition for 28-year-old plastics.

Next up, removing the nosecone and front mudguard.
Title: Tabitha 1200 Yet more cleaning...
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 05:51:13 PM
First job of the day, before getting to grips with the plastics was removing the left brake calliper ready to strip it down. I also intended to clean up both callipers but decided against it for the moment. Instead I removed the nosecone.

This meant first removing the mirrors (two bolts easy) and the indicators. One undid easily, the other required a soaking in Duck Oil for a while to loosen the bolt.

Next, I tried to remove the screen, but found all but two of the allen bolts were stuck solid. I did have to undo two of the screen fixing bolts so I could remove the nose cone but luckily, these were the two that undid easily. Another couple of bolts holding the nosecone to the mounting frame, disconnect the headlight and it was free.

Once on the bench, I managed to remove all the screen bolts bar one with an allen key and a pair of pliers. The final one, I had to cut the rubber away so I could push the screen nut through the fairing. After that, it was down to mole grips to remove the bolt/nut from the screen. Once again, a hoover to remove all trace of spider then a good clean with Muc-Off.

The front mudguard was a similar affair, all but one of the bolts came undone easily, the last one needed persuasion with mole grips again. Luckily, there was no damage to the mudguard and despite there being a lot of oil around where it attached to the shock, it was in just as good a condition as the rest of the bodywork once cleaned up.

Next on my list of jobs for the day was to remove the mounting frame that the nose cone attaches to.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 05:54:44 PM
There were many cable ties to cut first (from memory I think around 8) and I had to disconnect a couple of parts of the wiring loom.

There are 4 bolts holding the mounting frame to the bike, two to the headstock and one to each side of the radiator mounting points. All came off with little problem, although I did have to undo the wheel clamp and turn the front wheel a bit to gain access to the bolts on the headstock.

Again, once removed, I gave it a good clean and all the panels together with the mounting frame were stored in the loft in the garage.

Now to the next bit of cleaning. I used Autosol to give the exhaust end cans a bit of a polish, which cleaned up nicely. A little more work and I think they%u2019ll do, aside from the scratches down the right side of the end can. They%u2019re too deep to do anything with but they%u2019re serviceable. I may consider aftermarket exhausts in the long term but for recommissioning, they'll do just fine. That%u2019s more than I can say about the fork stanchions!

They%u2019re both corroded pretty much from top down to the dust seals, which is, i guess why the oil seals leak. Autosol is definitely not going to solve this one. They%u2019re either going to need replacing or re-chroming
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 06:00:46 PM
The last bit of cleaning for today was to clean up the infill panels that surround the cockpit. I have some plastic/rubber reconditioning spray I bought for use on the door/roof seals on the car and used this to clean up the plastic surrounds. As is most of the bike, they were filthy.

My final task for the day was to locate where two pieces of plastic infill panels should go. I had no idea and couldn’t see where they could go when I trial fitted the fairings prior to putting them into storage.

Turns out they are to cover the coil packs on either side of the frame (under the fuel tank). I had to go on-line to Fowlers of Bristol and look at their parts catalogue to identify them. At least now I know, although it took me a while to figure out exactly how they fit.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 06:05:41 PM
I needed to figure out what to do with the forks. It was clear that the ones I had were well past their sell by date. Time for some more internet research.

I found I could get 2nd hand forks (with light pitting) around the dust seals for around £100. I could also get pattern parts from Wemoto for £123 each (plus postage) or I could have my existing stanchions hard chromed & guaranteed for 12 months (straightened if required) for £145 for the pair from a company called Dynasurf, a company that specialises in hard chroming and plating, based in Sandbach.

In the end, I opted for having my existing stanchions replated by Dynasurf. I know I could have bought some from eBay cheaper but what’s to say the ‘light pitting’ was not going to damage the oil seal or just rust where the buyer has cleaned them up. For all I know, they may have used Scotchbrite which is abrasive & could damage further, an already iffy surface.

I had to fill up my better half’s car so while at the garage, I also filled up a fuel can with diesel to try to free up the fuel filler cap latch. Armed with a funnel, I have poured approx. 1 litre of diesel into the upturned tank and gave it a good sloshing around to ensure the latch mechanism is nicely covered. Checked with the endoscope to make sure it was fully covered and left it 24 hours to see what happens.

Finally, a name

It was 12th February 2020 and thought it time I gave the Trophy a name. It took some time but I finally decided.

 All my vehicles have names, Lucy SLK, Tallulah (Tiger) Lily and now Tabitha Trophy. Tabitha was a woman raised from the dead by Saint Peter, and while I’m no saint, I am raising her from the dead.

I give you Tabitha Trophy.  :wings

(See, nothing to do with cats  :icon_mrgreen: )
Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 06:17:09 PM
A week previously, I’d ordered the front brake seal kits from Wemoto (their eBay shop) and the brake piston pliers, it was time to strip down the callipers. Starting with the right side, I had already split the callipers and easily removed the pistons. Using some degreaser and brake cleaning spray, I cleaned all the gunge off the calliper and took some 0000-gauge wire wool to clean the pistons. All the parts cleaned up nicely with no surprises, except one.

The brake seal kits I received from Wemoto were the wrong ones. The standard 1993 Trophy has 4-pot callipers with two different diameter pistons, the seal kit I was provided had both seals of the same diameter & only two of each, not four.
The first e-mail from Wemoto insisted the seal kits were correct for my bike but after I explained why they were not, a second e-mail requested I return the parts for a full refund.

Now I find this interesting as I paid £32.50 for 2 individual seal kits from their eBay shop, Wemoto.com shows a seal kit for both front callipers for £37. The image that accompanies the kit definitely shows seals of two different diameters and curiously, a different part number to the one I received.

After a few email exchanges and a phone call, Wemoto finally agreed to send me out the correct seal kit (AG2491) as soon as I send the incorrect ones back. I also ordered a seal kit for the rear calliper.

I did little over the weekend anyway as it was too cold out and I didn’t have heating in the garage. Not that all work stopped, I did go out and agitate the diesel in the fuel tank and try to undo the filler cap every so often, still without result. But I kept trying.

I didn’t want to strip the left calliper at the moment as should I forget how I took the right one apart, I’ve got a reference.
I did find time to have a little clean. Nothing too drastic as I didn’t remove anything, just a bottle of cleaner and a damp rag over the wiring, cables and any bits of plastic I could see, such as the air intakes. Still a lot more cleaning to go though.
Title: Tabitha 1200 back to the fuel cap
Post by: Lee337 on January 21, 2021, 06:20:08 PM
Back to the fuel cap, which was stubbornly refusing to budge. I decided to take yet another stab at it after it had been sitting on the bench, upside down with the underside of the filler cap soaking in diesel for a week.

Every couple of days, well every time I went into the garage anyway, I agitated it a little, just to help things along.
I was hoping this would have done the trick, so I drained out the diesel and was shocked at the state of it. It was a rusty brown colour with solid bits of something in it which I haven’t even tried to identify, but was hoping that the latch was now free enough to be able to open the cap.

Tank now right side up, I carefully insert the new, stronger key into the lock (I had a new one cut just in case I broke the original), I turn the key and it begins to turn through around 70o. Exactly the same as before, still couldn’t open the fuel cap.

Out comes the endoscope and I take a look inside. It doesn’t look any different to the last time I had a look inside.
It seems I’m running out of options.

For my next trick I’m going to try covering the latch in Harpic x10 limescale cleaner. It has a weak solution of hydrochloric acid in it so I’m hoping that whatever is causing the latch to jam will be dissolved. I’ll have to find some way of applying the Harpic to just the latch though, probably a small length of piping and can only leave it for around 10 minutes or it could damage the tank. In the mean time, I wrote to Practical Sportsbike Magazine. They have a ‘Problem’ page. Maybe they can come up with a solution.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 21, 2021, 06:51:18 PM
No apology needed, I could have posted the whole story in one go, but the suspense is killing you  :ImaPoser
Oh... The suspense!!

Really enjoying the read though.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 21, 2021, 10:20:40 PM
I've never seen a cap latch quite that bad before  :icon_eek:

The early Trophys were fitted with the Nissin 27mm two pot sliding calipers and solid discs (often referred to as "B Spec") on the front the same as those fitted to the Tridents and Steamers, same as the one on the rear. The Nissin four pots and floating discs (often referred to as "A Spec") the same as the Daytonas were fitted quite early in production and might even have been an option. If they are correct for the period they will have "Nissin" the raised marking cast into the body, later (after '95 I think) they used the same caliper but it had "Triumph" logo raised on the casting. You have to be a bit careful with used replacements as there were two variants of the "Triumph" branded item, one had an 85mm fork mounting hole spacing and the other had a 90mm, the Mk1 Trophy should be 90mm same as the Mk2. I don't know what bikes had the 85mm for sure but I suspect the 955's as the T300 43mm Kayaba / Showa fork bottoms were very similar.

Great naming logic, a bit more interesting than my CAT theory  ;) I had a pristine seat but it went to a chap in Germany recently.

Title: Tabitha 1200: Back to the brakes
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 06:27:48 PM
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.
Title: Tabitha 1200: A short break
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 06:40:00 PM
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.

Title: Tabitha 1200: A new world order
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 06:49:24 PM
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.

Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 06:56:25 PM
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.

Title: Tabitha 1200: Break over
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 07:04:02 PM
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.
Title: Tabitha 1200: the rubber thingy
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 07:07:10 PM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Bixxer Bob on January 22, 2021, 09:25:43 PM
innovative and a good result on the tank lock.  Viakal would work too! :icon_lol:
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 22, 2021, 10:16:39 PM
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. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 22, 2021, 11:57:28 PM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 23, 2021, 10:32:16 AM
So, what were the differences? I have only had a steamer and an 800 XC and never tried a girly.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 12:12:18 PM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 23, 2021, 01:15:01 PM
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!
Title: Tabitha 1200 Work on the engine begins
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 06:25:30 PM
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.
Title: Tabitha 1200: Electrics
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 06:34:38 PM
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?
Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 06:43:03 PM
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.
Title: Tabitha 1200 receives guests
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 06:50:38 PM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 06:58:45 PM
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
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 23, 2021, 10:31:35 PM
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?
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 23, 2021, 11:31:26 PM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 24, 2021, 11:57:55 AM
Hahahaha, probably a good thought. But these have been fun to read so far!
Title: Tabitha 1200 Trouble at the back
Post by: Lee337 on January 24, 2021, 01:52:30 PM
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.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 24, 2021, 04:28:01 PM
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  :*&*
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 24, 2021, 05:14:37 PM

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. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 24, 2021, 06:53:25 PM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 25, 2021, 03:02:27 AM
Is your rear caliper a top mount?
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 25, 2021, 09:47:43 AM
Is your rear caliper a top mount?

Title: Tabitha 1200 Rear suspension
Post by: Lee337 on January 25, 2021, 06:41:19 PM
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.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 26, 2021, 01:11:15 AM
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.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 26, 2021, 08:29:56 AM
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!
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 26, 2021, 05:59:05 PM
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
Title: Tabitha 1200: Lockdown II
Post by: Lee337 on January 26, 2021, 06:12:31 PM
The bog roll hoarders were at it again, DIY shops were reporting a surge in the sales of paint, Hairdressers were going into meltdown across the country and 007 finally met his match (RIP Sean Connery).

Yes, Lockdown 2 happened in November 2020

It was a strange week where lots happened but sadly very little in the garage. I was still waiting for both the carbs and the forks to come back from their respective repairs.

Not so much as a finger was laid on Tabitha for what seemed like weeks - but planning what jobs remained continued. As you can probably guess, I have a project file (good old Excel) and as at 1st November 2020, the free Trophy has cost £873.00. With all the bits I've still to do, you can add another £1000.00 so in all, it looked like my free bike was going to cost around £1900, probably a little more when you add in bits I'd forgotten to list. At this point, I still had the following jobs to do (in no particular order):
I’d ordered a new chain and sprocket from M&P, engine and fork oil from Opie Oils and a clutch and front sprocket cover gasket set from Sprint Manufacturing. 

Why the gaskets? The Trophy engine is odd in that the cover over the front sprocket has oil circulating through it, don't know why. it just does, so a gasket set is needed for that.

As the clutch is still an unknown and because the bike has been standing for so long, while the engine oil has been drained, I'll whip the clutch out to check it thoroughly and to give it a good soak before refitting it, just to be sure.

What happened next at this point was still up in the air. Coming up to Christmas I suspected my budget would be swallowed up by that, and as I expected to be out of work from 1st January 2021, money would be at the forefront of my mind, as in ‘would I have any?’.

Yes, I was expecting a little redundancy money but that had to pay the mortgage and other living expenses until I could find work and in the current Covid-19 climate, that might not have been as easy as I'd like.

2021 could be interesting   :^_^

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 26, 2021, 08:16:08 PM
It was a bit  :icon_eek: but luckily we weren't out in the wilds. I just called the Bikebulance (yes they really did call themselves that  :icon_lol:) and retired to the shop across the road to enjoy roti prata and chicken curry  :wings

I couldn't find my photos of the rubber flap mod, I might post that as a separate thread when I do. In fact the lost screw might well be worthy of a separate thread.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200: Lockdown II
Post by: ghulst on January 27, 2021, 01:16:31 PM
What happened next at this point was still up in the air. Coming up to Christmas I suspected my budget would be swallowed up by that, and as I expected to be out of work from 1st January 2021, money would be at the forefront of my mind, as in ‘would I have any?’.

Yes, I was expecting a little redundancy money but that had to pay the mortgage and other living expenses until I could find work and in the current Covid-19 climate, that might not have been as easy as I'd like.

2021 could be interesting   :^_^

Man, that sounds devastating. Hope the redundancy hasn't worked out that way, or that you have been able to find something else by now...
Title: Tabitha 1200: All change
Post by: Lee337 on January 27, 2021, 05:43:00 PM
The best laid plans, and all that – just as well I don’t rely too much on plans as over the last few weeks of 2020 a lot changed. Firstly, my impending redundancy was moved back to June 2021, giving me a further 6 months of work, it has meant moving jobs but still with the same employer, I’ll just finish a little later than planned.

At the end of December and just in time for Christmas, we went into what can only be described as another lockdown, cancelling Christmas get togethers for almost the entire country. But life goes on and so did work in the garage.
I spent a good weekend working on Tabitha and could see the end in sight. The first items to come back were the fork stanchions from Dynasurf.  

Putting the forks back together was almost straightforward and would have been finished in a couple of hours if I’d had enough fork oil. I ordered some from Opie Oils, taking advantage of 5% discount from my Triumph Motorcycle Owners Club (TOMCC) membership. I’d done some research online and in the workshop manual to find out how much I needed but all I could find was what the air gap was with the fork fully compressed and with the spring removed (10.5mm) but nowhere could I find the volume needed. I knew the Tiger took just over 1L but a check on the owner’s forums suggested it was less.

So, I ordered 1L together with 5L engine oil. Turns out each fork took approximately 600ml so I had to wait while another 1L was ordered and delivered from Sportsbikeshop in Boston. Aside from that, they went back on the bike without drama.

While I was waiting, I received a message from Ben at BJM to say my carbs were ready. When I was told the cost, I was gobsmacked. I knew he had to order a new cap, have an emulsion tube made up, replace a few seals and I’d also asked him to order a brake lever pivot bolt. I was expecting a bill of around £250. All that work, including parts came to £130. Bonus, I still had £120 in the budget, so I ordered some new brake lines from Wezmoto in Exeter.

Now things are really moving in the garage. First job was to replace the chain & sprocket. To do this, I had to remove the sprocket cover which, because of Triumph’s designers, meant having to drain the oil from the engine. I was going to change the oil anyway, so it wasn't an issue.

The oil filler is incorporated in to the sprocket cover, which is a STUPID design, much like having to remove the carbs to replace the air filter. To get access to all the cover bolts, I had to remove the side stand, which meant having to remove the gear linkage, which meant removing the foot peg, which meant removing one of the engine mounting bolts, which as you’d expect was a pain in the a$$ as it was behind the rear suspension unit. WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?

So, oil drained, sprocket cover removed and there in all its glory was the remains of a very large spider, lots of old congealed oil and some grease.

Now you may recall that I’d cut the old chain off when I was replacing the rear shock & drag link. I’d also removed the rear sprocket from the wheel. This was not good as I had no way to loosen the front sprocket nut.

Luckily and despite a recent trip to the recycling centre, I still had the old chain & sprocket, so I put the sprocket back on the wheel and put it back on the bike. I also put the chain back on, holding it together with a couple of cable ties. A piece of wood between the wheel, resting on the swing arm, locked the rear wheel in place and a rattle gun got the sprocket nut off in less time than took me to type this sentence. I used the same method to hold the sprocket and rear wheel still when I put the new sprocket on later & torqued it down.

Earlier in the year, I’d been to my local pound shop as they were selling brake cleaner for, well, a pound. It’s not top quality and I probably wouldn’t use it to clean brake parts, but it’s far better than the engine degreaser that they also sold for degreasing parts. The sprocket cover used up a good half a canto get rid of years of built up oil and grease.

While the oil was drained, I thought I’d look at the clutch. I’d done the hydraulics a while ago, rebuilding the master cylinder and bleeding the system, but the clutch plates were an unknown.

With the bike having done 17,000 miles, I didn’t think the clutch plates would be worn, but they may have been a little sticky because of years of sitting around. I had to order a gasket set for the sprocket cover, so had the foresight to also order a clutch cover gasket at the same time from Sprint manufacturing. This was a nice easy job, not like the sprocket cover and the whole job was done in less than an hour. Turns out the clutch plates were in great shape, so a quick clean and a soak in fresh oil before reassembling it was all that was needed.

Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 28, 2021, 05:45:00 PM
Next to go back on was the carbs. I thought it would be a nice quick job, connect up the throttle cable, the choke cable then ease them on to the rubbers. The first part of the job was easy but trying to get them back on the rubbers was another of those jobs that never goes according to plan. In the end, I was getting a little grumpy after almost an hour of trying, so left them until the following day. To be fair, I had been in the garage for over 8 hours by that time, so probably needed a break anyway.

The next morning, and with an application of some spray silicon lubricant, the carbs slid into place within 5 minutes. The air box took a little longer as the rubber seals are oval in shape and, so I found out, if they’re not positioned correctly, just won’t fit. Again, a quick spray of silicon and repositioning the rubber seals on the air box and they just slid into place. 

I now had the carbs and air box fitted, the front shocks and wheel fitted and the clutch done. It was time for the coolant to be replaced. Shock horror, Triumph actually put drain screws in their 1200 engine., one at the pump and one half way down the side of the cylinder block – a good bit of design from them. The whole job took less than half hour. Another one ticked off the list.

It was time to trial fit the bodywork. Not that I was expecting it to not fit, but I had a bag full of new bolts and I wanted to see how it all went together. Besides, I hadn’t really seen Tabitha with her clothes on, so to speak.

First up, the nose cone and screen. No issues there although I needed to look at the wiring behind the nosecone to ensure nothing was catching when I turned the steering. A few adjustments needed but nothing serious.

Next, the rear fairing. This was easy as and was only four bolts. It did show up one rubber gromet was missing, so one of those needed to be ordered.

Next, the side fairings. Most of the bolts were easy to fix, but there were some issues. The fixings under the fairing, that hold the two halves together had no bolts, or rather the bolts I had, didn’t fit. The lower fixing on the front right seemed to have been cross threaded at some point as the bolt won’t do up and on the left side the lower rear fixing also didn’t do up. I removed the fairings again to sort them out.

Finally, there are plastic trim panels around the front of the steering stem and down to the top of the side panels. There are 6 fixing points and I didn’t have any bolts that fit. As the trim panels are black, it probably needed black bolts, so I sourced some from that well known auction site. Much like the bolts that hold the two halves of the fairing together, I didn’t have the correct sizes in the fairing bolt kit I purchased, so they also came from eBay.

 The ‘To-do’ list was getting smaller.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 28, 2021, 05:59:17 PM

Wow, that rear wheel looks small and far away in that picture. Never thought the wheelbase would be that long. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 28, 2021, 07:34:44 PM
Would be good for drag racing with that wheelbase + the 1200 engine.

Now there's a thought  :icon_scratch:
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 28, 2021, 11:20:36 PM
Fortunately the end cans on your model, however heavy they might be, are the chrome sleeved type, which means you can drill out the rivets, do any weld repairs that might be needed, re-chrome the sleeves as needed and rivet them back together. The very early type, fitted to the Daytona's also, were one piece and completely chromed, no longer available and if you have to repair them, no chrome facility I've asked will touch them as the contaminants in the wadding (which can't be removed) destroys their chemical baths  :icon_frown:
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 29, 2021, 02:08:19 PM
That's good to know, although I might replace them at some point.

Having said that, I always intended to replace the original cans on my Blackbird, but after 13 years ownership, I never actually got around to doing it.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 29, 2021, 05:39:50 PM
Well, in the coming 13 years you might use Niall's advice then. ;)
Title: Tabitha 1200 The home stretch
Post by: Lee337 on January 29, 2021, 06:47:11 PM
I admit it, I splashed out and dipped in to the following months bike budget. Being off work between Christmas and New Year and not being able to travel anywhere allowed me to get a few more jobs done.

My Trophy has ‘brewers droop’, so said Practical Sportsbike magazine when they did their Resto SOS piece a few months back.
Let me explain. Both riders foot pegs were broken, something which I had in hand, sort of, well, the foot pegs were on my to-do list anyway, but at £35+ each to replace, I just needed my employer to top up my bank account before I ordered some. That was after ordering a petcock and fuel tap knob and a few other bits.

Then eBay intervened and sent me an email for a seller who sold generic foot pegs at a very reasonable £6.19 a pair. They looked ok and for that price, I thought I’d give them a go. They arrived within a couple of days and then sat in the garage while the snow melted & the garage warmed up a bit.

I finally got around to fitting them and all seemed well, I had already measured the originals to ensure the new ones were the same size, and they were.

What wasn’t the same size was the hole in them where the pin goes through to secure them to the bike, nor were the pins. The original pins were 10mm diameter, the new ones 8mm and 5mm longer. The upshot of this was the new pins fell straight through the holes in the mount. I couldn’t use the old pins because the hole in the foot peg was also 8mm – or could I? 

It took me longer to get my drill out and find where I’d put my 10mm drill bit than it did to drill the hole out in the new foot peg. Using the original pins, it was a 10-minute job to fit the new foot pegs to the bike. Another job ticked off the to-do list.

I was originally going to order the petcock and knob from Sprint Manufacturing, the trouble was by the time I had sufficient funds they didn’t have any stock left. This turned out to be a good thing. Fowlers of Bristol had them in stock and while they were a couple of quid more, there was no postage, so they ended up costing me less. On top of that, the original knob I was going to order from Sprint Manufacturing was £35, ok it was aluminium rather than plastic but the Fowlers plastic one was considerably cheaper, so I saved money in the long run. How long the plastic fuel tap will last is debatable and I may end up buying an aluminium one in the long run.

During November 2020, I thought it an idea to get a few quotes from local businesses that can refurbish the wheels. there's a few in Peterborough, not too far from me, so I fired off a couple of emails asking for quotes. I got nothing back from either of them. A call out to local TOMCC members gave me a recommendation for wheelrite-online.co.uk who came back very quickly with a quote of £70 + VAT  per wheel.

As it’s been cold and wet, it felt like I did very little in the last few weeks of 2020. What I did do was strip the old, ripped cover off the seat to see what condition the foam was in. It looked good enough to  cover with a seat cover, or I can buy a 2nd hand seat. Both are around £75.

 In the end, a fellow member of TOMCC came to my aid and sold me a spare one he had lying around for £40, picked up the day before we went into yet another lockdown.

It's off a 1996 Trophy and is a slightly different profile to the original, but it looks good and all for £40.

I also cleaned up the rear brake disc and measured its thickness. It’s 5.7mm and the minimum thickness is 5.0mm, so once I’ve sorted the wheels, I’ll use it, rather than replace it. I also cleaned up the front brake discs. Again, they’re well within the minimum thickness (4.5mm). 

So there appears to be very little I can do until I get the wheels refurbished. I considered spraying them myself, I also considered using a local bodyshop to spray them, but rather than rush things, getting them powder coated is probably the best idea. The thing is, I can't get them to the Powder coaters until lockdown eases. Having spent February's budget on a set of Pirelli Angel ST tyres and a complete set of bearings for the front and rear wheels, there's nothing left in the budget until March anyway.

And that just about brings us up to date. There are probably a couple of little jobs I can find to do and I'll update you when I do them, but for now...


Title: Tabitha 1200: A few random photos
Post by: Lee337 on January 29, 2021, 06:50:28 PM
Just a few photos that may or may not have already been shared.

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on January 30, 2021, 12:51:04 PM
That seat... Makes you wonder whether the Tasmanian Devil was the previous owner. ;)

Good to be up to date, but I am going to miss the daily updates. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on January 31, 2021, 03:19:27 AM
The Mk2 seat results in about 10mm lower seat height and is a little more comfortable for longer rides in my opinion, the early ones are getting harder to find, cat issues I believe  ;) worth holding onto the old base.

Having a similar issue getting my wheels done, bit the bullet in the end and got them collected & shipped by Parcel Force fully insured for £12 which is probably not a lot different from what it would cost me for the 80 miles round trip to drive them anyway and I wouldn't be tempted to stop for a technically illegal Espresso  :augie

I'm impressed with you getting your carbs done for that price  :thumbsup it's almost worth me shipping mine down to him  ;)

Trevor is quite reasonable for his prices, I suppose he has to be competitive but his shipping costs are the only thing I take issue with and they're sometimes inconsistent i.e. larger stuff being shipped inclusive but a couple of gaskets cost £4.95  :icon_scratch:
Title: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on January 31, 2021, 08:48:43 AM
A quick update:

I'ce held on to the old seat base and at some point will get a new cover for it. Top Sellerie do them for around £70, but post Brexit, this may have changed as they're in France. Always good to have a spare though.

The new wheel bearings turned up in the post yesterday (Saturday) and are sittiong o a shelf in the garage, along with brake discs, pads, fluid and a few assorted nuts & bolts, ready to put everything together.

I had the battery charged and turned the engine over the other day and everything seems in good order. The exhaust gives out quite a nice thumping sound, so I'm looking forward to the day I start her for the first time. This won't be for a while as I 'm going to wait until the wheels are back on - don't want to damage the chain/sprocket as I'm sure there'll be clutch drag, or even hace the chain jump off the front sprocket.

I took my wheels to BJM (the same guy who did my carbs) yesterday to get the tyres and old sprockets removed. With tyre disposal, he charged £60, which I thought was a bit steep, until I remembered he'll get charged £5 a tyre for disposal (my brother used to work for a tyre distributor & that was their charge for car tyres, so I assume bike tyres are the same). I know his going rate is £35 per hour, and I know he under charged me for the carbs, so it all works out about right.

The old tyres were so stiff, it took him 20 minutes just to get the rear one off, I sat there & watched him struggle for about 15 minutes before I left him to it.

So now, all that's left, fingers crossed, is to get the wheels powder coated (the company I'm using will fit the new tyres) and finally puttign the whole bike together.

Then we'll see if she starts. I'm going to video it when I get there & will post it up, but it won't be for a while, February's bike budget is now non-existent.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on February 20, 2021, 06:42:50 PM
Couldn't resist it. Went in to the garage, mainly to do some work on the car, which had had a little visit from a mouse. Peanuts in the air intake and a nice little nest under the battery box, made from pieces of the bonnet sound proofing material. All in the space of 1 week. He/she's been a busy bugger.

Anyway, I've had the brakes in situ on the bike for some time minus the pads. So ended up taking the callipers off (there's no
fluid in the brake system yet as I've replaced the brake lines), fitting the brake pads, with copious amounts of copper grease on the pins and some brake grease on the back of the pads. Then the callipers were refitted & everything tightened up. I won't torque them properly until I put the wheels back on, which are still sitting on the bench, minus the tyres, waiting for lockdown to allow me to take them over to a business 15 miles away for a clean & powder coating.

Still haven't decided whether to stick with the original silver, or go for satin black.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on February 21, 2021, 01:18:07 AM
Another colour option is the Graphite metallic that they used on the 96-98 models. They pick their locations don't they, I don't think Triumph ever offered branded mousetraps  :icon_lol:
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on February 21, 2021, 12:23:38 PM
Worth looking in to the Graphite metallic, never considered that but will have to see the colour in the flesh.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on February 21, 2021, 05:40:50 PM
Not great lighting but you get the idea

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on February 22, 2021, 07:54:21 PM
Yep,  I think the idea is that these need some work as well. ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on February 22, 2021, 09:06:46 PM
They've been done but I can't get to the Powder Coater to collect them, I'll let you see how they turned out when I can.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on February 22, 2021, 11:42:38 PM
Something you might want to consider if you haven't already. Changing the valve stems to 90 deg type  ;)
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on February 23, 2021, 12:10:57 PM
Have these on my Tiger, so the thought crossed my mind, given how much easier it is to check the tyre pressures.

I've heard stories of them ripping out at high speeds, but as I'm not planning on doing any track days, I don't suppose the small difference in mass between standard ones & angled ones would make any difference.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on February 24, 2021, 01:45:36 PM
I've not heard of that and can't see that there would be a measurable difference compared to straight stems.  :icon_scratch: It all comes down to the quality in the end.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on February 25, 2021, 12:06:47 PM
It was apparently an issue with Blackbirds, presumably because of the high speeds. Honda advised against them although not UK dealers, and the UK's top Blackbird man (Jaws) mentioned on more than one occasion that he was aware of the 90degree ones ripping out although they may have been the rubber ones, not the metal ones found on some Triumphs.

Quality may well be the answer.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on February 26, 2021, 10:56:21 PM
Please Nicola can I go to the powder coaters 30 miles away, I'll only be there for 5 minutes and I won't stop for the usual bacon butty and coffee  :cp

Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Bixxer Bob on February 27, 2021, 11:14:50 AM
 :rfl  My Type 1 diabetic friend 'forgot' her insulin so I had to ride a 50 mile round trip to take it to where she works    :augie
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on April 05, 2021, 01:55:23 PM
It's getting close, I can feel it.

The wheels are stripped of their old, hard as nails tyres and bearings, with new bearings on the shelf waiting to go back in and a set of Pirelli Angel ST's in the back of the garage awaiting fitting.

I've got a week off work, not that I've picked a great week weather wise, but as we're begining to open up 'UK PLC' again and we're allowed to travel for non-essential journeys, I'm off to the powder-coaters in the week to get my wheels done.

Still haven't decided whether to go with the original silver, or as close to that as possible, but I think that's probably more likely.

The final decision will be when I turn up at the powder coaters, and sad as this sounds, it will come down to how much more they'll charge me to do the sprocket carrier, which now I've cleaned it up is in remarkably good condition and doesn't really need to be repainted. The wheels are going to cost around £170 and I'm guessing at another £20 to have the new tyres fittted & balanced. So if having the sprocket carrier done is going to cost too much more, I may just leave it & get the wheels done to match the existing colour.

Once the wheels are done and back on the bike, I need to check the fuel hoses & new fuel tap for any potential leaks, put some petrol in the tank & see if it starts. Think I might video it - it'll either be the final video of the bike & garage going up in smpke, or the first time the engine has been started for probably around 6 years.

Time will tell.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on April 05, 2021, 04:10:43 PM
Mine are still sitting waiting for me to go pick them up  :^_^ I'm almost embarrassed to say they want paying £72 for both rims and the carrier  :icon_redface: it was another £15 to get them sent over to them + whatever the fine will be if I get caught on the collection caper  :cp

Fingers crossed and Fire Main pressurised at all times  :grnb , getting tense  :bad
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on April 05, 2021, 06:07:47 PM
I forgot you're north of the border, but aren't tou coming out of lockdown quicker than us?

We're allowed non essential journeys, so I'm not breaking any rules dropping them off, especially as it's a local journey, still within the same county.
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on April 05, 2021, 10:19:26 PM
Only relaxed in so far as you can get a haircut and buy a few plants but still required to stay within the county other than essential travel. Unfortunately, technically I'd have to cross two counties other than my own to get the wheels  :icon_sad:

There's plenty of other jobs I can be doing meantime  :icon_rolleyes:
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Lee337 on April 06, 2021, 05:25:35 PM
That's it, wheels and sprocket carrier dropped off at the powder coaters. It seems a lot of people had similar ideas now that we are allowed non essietial but local journeys. They have a 4 - 6 week lead time.

And, if you're interested, I've gone for a graphite grey rather than the original silver.

One step closer...
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on April 06, 2021, 11:09:37 PM
Good news  :thumbsup look forward to seeing the results

I wonder if I could convince our local constabulary that it's a "Click & Collect" as we're allowed to do that now  :augie
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: ghulst on April 07, 2021, 10:58:52 PM
That sounds great. Looking forward to seeing those wheels on the bike!
Title: Re: Tabitha 1200
Post by: Sin_Tiger on April 21, 2021, 12:21:43 AM
I managed to get out today, I have to say it was a bit daunting  :icon_eek: and brought these back, I was almost getting moist unwrapping them  :icon_redface: I hope you get yours back soon.
SimplePortal 2.3.7 © 2008-2021, SimplePortal