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Hi all

Just an update on where I'm at with my bike... I'm at the end! That's just under 4 years all up. About 3 years longer than I was hoping, but there you go.

I've got tons of photos so if anyone wants to see anything in particular, let me know and I'll see what I've got. I'll just add a selection of the recent ones in this post. I've petty much touched every part of the bike to restore/repair/replace/improve it, apart from the front forks and the brake calipers. All other parts now have their own individual stories.

So of you will recall I spent quite a bit of time trying to get the bike running properly. I found a wide variety of problems including burnt wiring, a sticking choke slider and after much effort with the pickups, I gave up when I found I was getting the same results no matter what I did. The engine was also vibrating quite a bit and so I called up Brook Henry for a chat and sent it off to him. I gave him free reign to 'make it perfect'. He stripped it down to the last bearing and measured and checked and balanced everything. He found incorrect pistons and a crank well out of balance. He ran it on a stand before the strip down and confirmed the ignition was bung (Bosch units). Once inside, we were able to confirm and deny the various bits of history I knew about the previous rebuild. I could sort of tell, and I know for sure now that it never ran properly for the previous owner and he just avoided telling me that particular detail. My guess is that he spent his maximum allotment of time and money getting it done and when it wouldn't run right, he gave up and let it sit for 6 years before selling it.

Some of the images are from his workbench, where everything is laid out. Other images are the unboxing and installation back here, including wiring up the new Sachse ignition. Curing the process I also completed some final tasks I had yet to do. I installed a lower case saver, new neutral switch, new rubber on all panels, relaid the wiring to make it nice and tidy, replaced all throttle and choke cables etc.

The motor has now had many nice things done. I made it clear that it was never going to be sent away again in my lifetime and so it had to be done right. That meant he could do what he though was necessary. It was stripped down, vapor blasted, everything inspected and checked for straightness (gear shafts etc) . New VeeTwo pistons and rings, new big end, cylinders honed to fit, new bearings all the way, crank now properly balanced of course, new VeeTwo valves, valve seats, valve guides and all of the necessary adjustments and calibration. He also did a couple of mods. One involves an extra oil passageway and the other fastens one of the big bearings that apparently can slip. The engine already had a high capacity VeeTwo oil pump so that went back in. I'm unsure what he did to the clutch but it is disassembled in the photos and it sure feels better now. he also installed the VeeTwo oil filter insert. it's a machined item with o-rings that replaces the black plastic item. (this is the socket that the oil screen pusses into inside the lower block). I asked what else would be worth doing and he suggested replacing the 4th gear that commonly breaks (and had in fact broken previously in this engine) with the much better VeeTwo version. I was happy to go with that. Of course all new gaskets throughout, and he also used new bolts all around instead of re-using the old ones. Everything replaced came back in bags and I'll put a photo of that below as well. The final key item was the Sachse ignition. He was involved in the design of these and keeps them stocked, so I was confident he'd install and set it up properly. The new Sachse replacement for the coils is just a box, but he said it's just as fine to keep the Dyna coils and I wanted to do that. They look better and I already have a nice bracket made up for them. Oh, and there were also the carb kits I sent along in the box.

So then it all came back here. The job took a few months longer than I had hoped, but unlike everyone else I've dealt with during this job, he actually apologised repeatedly for the delay... and to top it off he's dropping in next week in person to complete any necessary setup. Can't beat that for service!

As it turned out when I ran it a couple of days ago, it may not even need any further tweaks. It started on the 3rd, somewhat apprehensive kick (I'm still smarting from that nasty kickback last year) and it ran perfectly. I'm used to riding it like it's going to die on every corner or shift, but now it's just perfect. It's mechanically quieter (Brook said it was a noisy engine when he ran it there), but it also sounds better, deeper; probably because of the drop in mechanical clattery. I've got 30 weight mineral oil in for the run in and I'll be back on 20/50 after.

Moving right along... here's a video of the startup and bits of the test ride. I shortened it a bit and inserted a couple of clips from my wife's phone. The mic is right in front of my mouth inside my helmet, so there's a lot of breathing noise at the start.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HA3lnpl2KXk

The photos show the installation, the case guard, the location I decided on for the Sachse unit, the wiring I did for that, some of Brook's photos etc.

(I'm having trouble posting here... getting database errors. Thankfully I always copy my posts to notepad before I submit them!)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
More images
 

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And more images
 

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And the last images for now.

I've got photos going back 4 years on most aspects of the job. Ask if there's anything you might find useful.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I forgot to mention how I used the crappy header pipes I got from Gowanloch for the test ride.

Previously I had used my freshly chromed original pipes and had turned them both bright blue within minutes due to the faulty ignition. I had to get them re-plated again and so I wasn't going to risk them on this test ride. As it turned out, only the upper header gained a very slight yellow/warm colouring right at the port. The lower pipe has no colouring. So that's pleasing as well.

I see these bikes all the time around the internet with one or the other pipe heavily blued. The photos I had of this bike before I purchased it also showed this problem. If only I'd known heh.
 

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And lastly.. thanks to those here who helped with their comments throughout. It was always highly appreciated!
 

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Great stuff Rob, I'm glad it all worked out well for you in the end. We love seeing these rebuild threads, so thanks for the pictures as well.

years ago I had my my 750 rebored, and after that it always had messy pistons - examining the crowns through the plug hole they were always wet with oil. I soldiered on for about 20000 miles like that and then had another go at a rebore, using Vee Two pistons. Brook told me to assemble the barrels with no oil, just WD40, then to run the engine for a short time (I think about a minute) then shut off, let it cool and then repeat. He said "Do not use engine oil on pistons and rings!" I didn't like the sound of this, fearful that the engine would seize, but did it anyway. No problems; the engine ran as good as new, and the pistons were always dry and clean on top after that.

BTW, without trying to cause controversy, when you switch to 20/50 oil make sure it is suitable for older engines. modern oils have low levels of ZDTP (sulphated ash) to avoid damaging catalytic converters, but at the expense of more 'rubbing' wear on the engine, so an oil with high levels of ZDTP is preferrable. Penrite do some really great oils in your part of the world.
 

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Great stuff Brook told me to assemble the barrels with no oil, just WD40, then to run the engine for a short time (I think about a minute) then shut off, let it cool and then repeat. He said "Do not use engine oil on pistons and rings!"
That's how the factory did too, Colin. Properly fitted rings 'bed in' within seconds ...

Craig
 

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That is really looking beautiful! Keep the photos coming.
 

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Nice work and a credit to your persistence. The video was good too. Can you tell me why Brooke insisted that oil not be used in the cylinders before start up? Cheers
Ian
 

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Hi Rob: Rick (Kashikoi) here! We've already discussed a few items on YouTube. I still think you should keep the duct tape on the tank! Many thanks for sharing all the photos. Enjoy that bike.
 

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if you coat the piston and rings with engine oil the rings are so well lubricated that they never properly wear in and create a gas tight seal. I believe that this problem has increased with modern oils that are just too good for this application.

Using WD40 on the rings and bores allows for basic lubrication, but also gives the rings and bore a chance to properly bed in, almost like using grinding past to create a good seal. BTW, years ago, when the Triumph factory were racing their triples, they would leave a new barrel outside all night, so that in the morning the bores were rusty, and this created the right conditions to bed in the rings.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Great stuff Rob, I'm glad it all worked out well for you in the end. We love seeing these rebuild threads, so thanks for the pictures as well.

BTW, without trying to cause controversy, when you switch to 20/50 oil make sure it is suitable for older engines. modern oils have low levels of ZDTP (sulphated ash) to avoid damaging catalytic converters, but at the expense of more 'rubbing' wear on the engine, so an oil with high levels of ZDTP is preferrable. Penrite do some really great oils in your part of the world.
Thanks duc

Yes, after all the reading and research I did when I bought the bike I settled on Morris oils. I'm using this one for the run-in: https://www.morrislubricants.co.uk/...c-engine-oils/golden-film-running-in-oil.html
Brook's advice was any straight 30 weight oil, Briggs and Stratton or similar as used in lawn mowers. I went with the Morris version just because I had it before and they make it specifically for the purpose.

And this is the 20/50 I'll be using: https://www.morrislubricants.co.uk/...ils/golden-film-20w-50-classic-motor-oil.html
I used that previously as well. The spec document on the page has the details for anyone in future looking for a good oil. They also have other single and multigrades for bikes like this.
Brook's advice for this was either 20/40 or 20/50, brand irrelevant, no synthetics, but an EP additive (extreme pressure) is good.

I took it out today for a longer run and tried to get onto some faster roads to go through the run-in. It's hard to get things going around town when it's all just idle speeds in first or second gear. Again, for anyone looking ag this in future, the run-in advice is as follows: Just ride it normal. If anything put it under a little extra load but only for short bursts. I.E. leave it in a higher gear and open the throttle to make it work hard for 10 to 20 seconds while you are riding and then go back to cruise. On down hill roads let it rev to 6 or 7 in 1st 2nd and 3rd.

The ride was good. Spent about an hour and 15 minutes in the saddle, no great dramas. The clutch seems so much easier. I'll have to ask him about that. Previously I would have to reach wide and put my whole arm and should into the clutch after 20 minutes of riding, but now I don't even notice it. It feels like any bike from my past.

Here's something funny.. whilst I riding, I realised that the old classic bike I've just completed is actually the newest bike I've ever had. All my others were either the same year or older.

Anyhow.. I've got a few posts to reply to, so I'll get onto it!
Rob
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That is really looking beautiful! Keep the photos coming.
Here we go - I took it to get a warrant of fitness on Thursday... and man it looked nice standing there so I took a few snaps!



The man in the background is Michael. He was extremely helpful with getting some of the required documentation. He also let me use his ignition disk and strobe, which served to demonstrate the faulty Bosch units. The guy who owned this bike shop years ago lived in a flat in Christchurch with my 10 years older brother in the 70s. They had a sign on the door - Bologna House... they had 3 Ducatis in the hallway.

In the long run, photos will be all I have left of the bike, so I'm looking to take some nice ones.
Rob
 

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Good to see Rob, bet you have a big smile on your face every time you jump on it now
Boy do I... it's a complete change of mindset. I stop at the lights, let the throttle go and just sit upright and enjoy the fact that I don't have to think about keeping it alive. And after spending every night in the shower the last 4+ years mulling or fretting over some detail or other, I just relax. It's a pleasant feeling.

For now I've got a handful of people to visit and show it to. Those who are interested and have followed the process. That's enjoyable.

I'm still a little sensitive to the ride and handling etc.. one always wonders if every bolt and nut is back on and torqued up properly. However today's run was on the motorway and to another town over the hills. It went well. Previously I wouldn't even take it off the hill I live on simply because I might have to let it coast back home again if it stopped.

So yes, smiles :)
 

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Nice work and a credit to your persistence. The video was good too. Can you tell me why Brooke insisted that oil not be used in the cylinders before start up? Cheers
Ian
Duc replies further down, but I expect oil in the chamber would probably glaze the bore and then the rings would never bed in. Things have to be pretty rough in the beginning to get it all seating nicely. Scoring the barrels is also a big part of that. One needs to create a lot of wear in a short amount of time before drenching it in oil for the long run.
ROb
 

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Hi Rob: Rick (Kashikoi) here! We've already discussed a few items on YouTube. I still think you should keep the duct tape on the tank! Many thanks for sharing all the photos. Enjoy that bike.
Thanks Rick! I actually took it off after today's ride. I've determined that my current jacket doesn't have the zipper and snap issue that my previous jacket had. It also gets in the way of photos!
 

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Adding more random photos. Cutting the fairing and aligning the decals was particularly fiddly, as was the screen. The replica decals I had are nice and thin, but the stripes are not consistently parallel. So it's not perfect, but close enough.
 

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And more pics

Many parts I purchased were flawed in some way. The replica brake lever was never going to fit without breaking, bending, welding and a rechrome. It's perfect now though.

The last thing I bought was replacement throttle and choke cables from Steve. Not one of them fit and I had to get them all shortened locally.

Pretty much everything had to be modified or redone in some way or other. Even the NOS gas cap was wrong. But I was able to swap some of the guts around with my old one and with a bit of fine fitting it is good.

The instrument bezels were from Darren. They had to go back as did the dash. I then found an NOS correct dash. New bezels also arrived and I sent the instruments off to a guy down south to restore and then rebuild with the new bezels, new glass but the old rubber as the new rubber items are wrong.

I'd say the best item I purchased was the kick stand. This one is 15mm longer allowing the wheel to be off the ground with the Konis in place. After powder coating it fit perfectly and it looks 100% correct. This was from Mdina, as was the brake lever that wasn't initially so great.
 

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