Thursday, August 29, 2013

Oil Cooler Bypass

Here's a quick run down on how I removed the oil cooler. Other than a small weep from one of the unions it's been problem free since it was done at the end of 2011.

Original oil cooler fittings on the sump...
... both removed. Retain the banjo bolt. These were replaced
with .....
An M14 to AN-6 adapter, A 180 degree bend, a short length ..

... of pipe, a 45 degree bend and a banjo.

All the fittings came of Ebay from a shop named torques_uk.

A shroud around the pipework to protect the oil temp sensor 
(added to monitor the effects of all this) and ....

... the soft alloy fittings from stones off the front wheel. 

I had much fun and games getting it shaped to allow 
the run of the exhaust downpipes.

Monday, August 19, 2013

A Trip to Yorkshire

 After many months of planning, my friend Tim and I agreed to meet up half way between his East Lothian home and my own Somerset abode. Tim has been working on perfecting his own interpretation of the early Hinckley theme for a year or so. Half way meant somewhere in Yorkshire. That somewhere was to be a caravan site on Baildon Moor.

 The customary shiny state of my bike needed to be restored for her 'date' with another Trophy 12 so a wash and brush up was due. Also, it is all very well having grease nipples but no use at all if they aren't treated to a pump or two from a grease gun every once in a while. So I did that job too.

Followers of this blog might also notice she had also acquired a big new pair of shoes for the journey and the reappearance of my touring seat and high screen. Big journey, so big accessories! Actually, the black wheels are borrowed from my Daytona 900 whilst servicing and sprucing up are in progress so I can get the Trophy wheels refinished. I've finally decided to polish the rims myself and have the hubs painted. But that is another story ...

I've had a pair of Oxford sports throw-over panniers pretty well as long as I've had my Daytona. I don't do many overnight trips and as a result the throw-overs rarely come out of the attic. They were just the job for this trip, fitting better on the Trophy bodywork than on the Daytona. However, I did put lots of rubber mesh under them to stop the paintwork from being scuffed - inevitable with the movement of soft luggage when the bike is in motion.  With the odomoter reading 41243 miles, the great moment had arrived and I was on my way! There is nothing quite like the feeling of being loaded up, sandwiches and flask of tea packed, waterproofs stowed, tool roll in place, and the open road ahead. It always feels BIG to me. Everything fresh and new, the engine thrumming like a turbine, sense of having forgotten something but knowing the moment has arrived.  

My route took me via Bristol to Cheltenham on the M5. There was a very strong, warm tail wind for this leg and slow traffic, meaning that little cooling air was running through my radiator or oil cooler. The oil temperature hit an all-time high of 100 degrees. So did I. Well, it felt like it. So I headed off of the motorway through the rest of Gloucestershire and Worcestershire to Birmingham via Evesham and Redditch. Much more enjoyable.Unfortunately, I hit the M42 at knock off time so more slow traffic ensued. Mercifully, I didn't have to endure more than 40 minutes of that though and then the rest of the trip to Baildon was straight forward: M42, M1, M62, M606, Bradford outer ring road, Shipley, Baildon, Baildon Moor.

 The site is called Dobrudden and it was nice enough.It is very high compared to the surrounding areas and feels more remote than it actually is. The sense of remoteness is added to by the fact that it is accessed by about a mile of bumpy gravel track.

We were to be joined the next day by Derek with his Africa Twin - much better suited to this than a pair of 1200 Trophys.

The views were great, especially after dark with ribbons of street lights snaking around the valleys visible to the south east of the hill. We were staying in a sort of wooden tent (wooden construction and shed height, tent-sized floor area) with some nice garden furniture and a brick-built camp kitchen. The showers were hot, with just enough room to move about it, and the facilities clean.

 Tim's Trophy is a 1992 or 1993 model year 125bhp 1200. It had a larger oil cooler and radiator fitted when he bought it. The wheels, rear hugger, silencers and front brakes are all Daytona 1200 items fitted by its previous owner (from a 1200SE unless I'm very much mistaken). Numerous other small changes in the fabric of his Trophy 12 are evident from my 1991 model, something he delighted in observing for my benefit. For example, we discovered that his bike will run on its side stand as long as it is in neutral, having an interlock relay. Mine will not. I am familiar with the interlock because my 94 Daytona has one.

No oil cooler and four cylinders
The 1200 engine: A real powerplant
 Tim was struck by the hot running of the engine, as I had been, and wondered if he could make it run cooler. He does more city riding than I do so decided to see if running without fairing lowers made much difference. It did but, when stripping the Trophy fairing lowers off to find out, he discovered that his oil cooler was falling apart. Without the fairing lowers, it seemed likely that the oil cooler would be superfluous so he made up a section of pipe to bypass cooler out of the oil system. He also fitted an oil temperature sender and gauge (I copied him!) to test the idea and enclosed it all in a sturdy bash plate.

Finally, he abandoned the Trophy top fairing in favour of a twin-headlight Sprint model. So he has adapted the machine to his own idea of the ideal: a Mega Sprint.

The Sprint fairing was not a direct fit because its lower section fouls the 1200 cylinder head. He could have cut this back but decided instead to spring the fairing wider and custom make brackets to hold it out that way. He has also fitted later bars after first trying a set of risers and conventional tubular handlbars. We swapped bikes for a compare-and-contrast ride. The engines felt much the same to me though Tim was sure his had more grunt. Yeah, well ... they sound different when riding because of the different exhausts and proximity of ear to engine. Tim's bars make for an almost armchair like riding position. I might well have a go at fitting some to my bike as a try out. His seat is quite a bit lower, evident by knee twinges - we think it was either cut down by a previous owner or reduced in height in later models. I'd put my fat touring seat on for the big trip so it's not easy to say.

One Man's Ideal Trumpet: A Mega Sprint 1200

We rode up to Pately Bridge and Grassington, tea and cake. Then back to Pateley Bridge and on to Ripon, Thirsk, Sutton Bank and Helmsley to meet up with Derek. It's the only place I've been where bikes have to pay for parking - and at the same rate as cars. I'm sure there is a reason for it. To do with making money for the council. Fair enough for a tourist town I suppose. We had a good lunch in very friendly company at a nearby pub then made for York via the B roads.
Grumbing about parking charges in Helmsley
The heavens opened and Tim and I both had an experience of some sizeable rear-wheel brakeaways when trying to sprint past slow traffic. Nasty. The country is very flat and agricultural, the roads seemed not to be draining well and were probably coated with tractor-based slimy stuff. One to remember for the future.

York is a beautiful city. We got stuck in it so I can say with confidence it is one of the nicest looking places I've been to. I lived there for a while in the 1990s and it was great to be reminded of my happy time there. We headed out of York towards Selby but cutting across more flat expanses of the eastern edge of North Yorkshire back into West Yorkshire. The wind was gusting and difficult by this time, banks of black cloud roiling above us as we thrummed from bend to bend. Time for a tea at Squires Cafe Bar. Then back to Baildon for a curry and some beers. A good day out, around 200 miles of spectacular Yorkshire enjoyed by all despite the rain and the wind. 

Derek trying not to play dominos with two bikes
 After bidding D and T farewell, I took another trip down memory lane. This time it was Bradford where I had studied in the 1980s. I took a picture of my old student house and then was stunned to find a brand new cathedral style mosque near completion just down the road from it. The place is magnificent, its splendour made all the more impressive by the fact that I can vividly remember what a squalid area it was beforehand. It has been a disused railway cutting used enthusiastically by fly tippers. After taking a couple of photos, I got talking to some of the construction folks there who invited me in to meet their chairman for a cup of tea. How wonderfully unexpected. This is the essence of a journey: put yourself into unusual situation, talk to people and discover how warm they can be.

Time for home now, stopping at the National Motorcycle Museum at the junction of the M42 and A45 for a pot of tea. The restaurant is open to anyone without needing a ticket. Makes a the best motorway services in the entire world. I treated my self to John Rosamund's memoire of his time at the Meriden Cooperative: 'Save the Triumph Bonneville'. I've read two chapters - gripping and eye-opening stuff, I can tell you.

Cranham Woods
I had had enough of motorway droning by now so took A roads from Brum through the Costwolds all the way down to Somerset.

I wonder why I go on M-ways at all sometimes. The journey is slower by A roads but feels faster, unless you get stuck behind a lot of holiday traffic. This journey was on an August Sunday between 4pm and 7:30pm - must be a good time to avoid the hordes.

Shiny again
Back home then, bike de-grimed from the motorway and Baildon track, hot bath and pot of tea. Perfect.

Epic Motorcyle