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Sunday, 24 February 2008

Yet more Cubbie woe.

It's funny how people seem to pick on Cubbie. I mean, whenever something goes wrong with it, they start saying things like, oh we always had trouble with that when I was young, and the worzel-grommet-ends on 'em always blew up after only a few miles, blah blah blah, and yet when their bikes go wrong, it's a one off, out of the blue, never happened before! Ha! Well I don't care, so what if I have to strip the engine and find out exactly what The Noise is. It's all good practice for me, and although it's annoying, and I skin my knuckles and have a whinge or two I do quite enjoy it - I wouldn't have an old bike or three if I didn't. The general consensus is The Noise is either the big end or the main bearings. Now, when I had the engine partly stripped just recently, I found a wee shard of metal in the vicinity of the bearing on the primary side, so perhaps that's a hint I should have taken more notice of.

So in the meantime, I've got it ready for its Ingliston debut - you won't believe this but I have actually CLEANED it. Nothing OTT you understand, just a wipe with a clean rag and a bit of spit 'n' polish. The rear wheel has about an inch of grime on it though so I'll have to take a chisel to that. Hehehe.

After Ingliston, and after The Noise has been apprehended, Cubbie's Counties will kick off officially. You may have seen the short news piece about it in Classic Bike Guide this month, but for those who haven't here's my plan....I intend to ride to as many of Scotland's 33 counties as possible, on Cubbie, visiting places / people / things of interest along the way. If you know of something in your area that you think I should visit, let me know. Also if you can offer cheap or free camping or know somewhere that does, again please let me know as I'll be trying to keep costs down (so that I can buy more Cubbie spares...) and if you wish to join us on any part of the journey, and you don't mind cruising at a snails pace, give me shout, as company for when I break down would be handy (bring your own spanners though). When I get a mo' I'll fix up a permanent point of contact on here so it's easier to get in touch, but until then, it's comments please!

I'm off to varnish the back door, plant some trees, do the sheeps feets and stuff like that. Have a nice Sunday.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008


Cubbie is back in the land of the living, but still making the same noise as it did before I 'fixed' it. Oil gushed forth from the primary case and petrol spewed out of the tap. Tap now sorted - found an old spare one in the box of bits, soaked the cork in boiling water and hey presto, it works. Just need to work out what ths noise is now.....

And on another sad doggy note, poor old Willie has now gone to the big kennel in the sky. 17 years old and had a good life, he used to kill anything with fur or feathers!

Off to work, more on Cubbie later, if you can stand the wait.


Took Cubbie out for a spin yesterday, my oh my, I'd forgotten how much fun it is! What a grin factor! Just a few miles round the block (that's a county block ya know) to see if it all held together - which it seemed to, apart from the massive primary case leak and the new (not new NEW but new to the situation) fuel tap which also now leaks! And I am still worried by this nasty noise that happens just as I pull away, and whilst the engine is under load. No one else can hear it which makes me wonder! Anyway, I'm just in conversation with my Head Mechanical Advisor aka Diggy so better go and pay attention. Roll on Summer!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Blood 'n' guts.

My blood. Cubbie's guts. Everywhere. I started work on the valve timing at 11am today. I had soon smacked my knuckles on the fins as I undid the spark plug, and the silly thing is, I knew I would, but I kept on going. With the zorst and carby removed, rocker covers and oil feed pipe out of the way, I set about slackening the head nuts, and I don't care if that's not the proper name for them. Two of them seemed awfully reluctant to shift and I was concerned about stripping the thread or breaking something, but recalled that when Fido helped me assemble the top end all that time ago, he had trouble with them then. Got them off eventually, but then the head wouldn't shift, I guess it was sort of welded in position - oil tight I have to say, not much chance of that now :-(

A thwack with a bit of wood and a mallet soon had it free and just pulling it up about 1cm gave enough room to manouver the pushrods and rockers to the right places. Carefully holding the tappets in the 'up' position enabled me to fit the 'big cog' back in exactly the same position as it had come off in, if you know what I mean. The thing is, the dots and dashes didn't line up on the timing pinion (that's the small cog of course) but at least it meant I could secure the head back down without tappets and pushrods dropping out. Easier said than done, because for some reason, the upper pushrod tube O-ring decided it didn't want to live there anymore and each time I tightened the head nuts up, it sort of oozed out. Numerous times I tried to hold it and do the nuts up but without success. With my patience wearing rather thin (I was possibly verging on the border of crabbitness)the help of Mrs Bikerchick was called for. It's bleedin' easy with two people!

Next up was to rotate the engine by hand to check that the dots would line up, 'cos I was told that they don't line up on every revolution so I turned it, and turned it, and turned it............yawn...........patience ebbing away......hand throbbing and stomach rumbling.......gave up on that in the end and phoned a collegue at the mag who was able to decipher the instructions in the Triumph Workshop Manual. Just undo the timing pinion and rotate it until the dots line up - right? I hope so. But he forgot to mention I'd need a special puller. A quick call at 4pm to Greystone Enterprises has one on the way to me, just hope it arrives by Saturday so I can get it finished.

Oh, you want to know if my MZ is ok? Well, normally I just have to drain the carb after a winter holiday, but the screw is so mashed up that I can't get any grip on it. So no bikes on the road for me just now. And all this glorious weather too! HUMBUG.

Anyway, the postie brought something good today - my entry form for the S&T rally which I hope to go to. Oh, and a huge pile of cards and chocs....

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Woe is me.

The last time I did some work on Cubbie, I left it with the clutch and primary chain fitted, the gear box in but the selector forks had slipped so would have to sort that on my next attempt, and with the inner case fitted but not fixed, just to keep the hay and barley dust out of the guts really. So all I had to do on Saturday was remove the case and pop the forks and selector plate into the right place and then apply a bit of the old sealer and stick it all together. So there I was, gently easing the case off, and what should fall into my lap? The camshaft pinion, followed by the camshaft itself and as I sat there in total bewilderment, one of the tappets fell out. I'm not sure if the whole engine has to come apart now, or if just raising the head will give enough room to wiggle the pusrods back into place, then of course the valve timing (I heard that phrase somewhere) will need to be sorted. I think I might need a wee bitty help for this stage. Just under 4 weeks to go until Ingliston.....

I've now got a special email addy set up for Cubbies Counties so I'll just post it here and see how much spam I get as a result....cubbiescounties AT - you all know you have to change the AT to @ don't you?

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

More of this and that.

Well here I am, back from a wee jaunt to Thurso. Although I was there for work, I made sure I tracked down a classic biker, in the shape of last years Ingliston (Scottish Motorcycle Show) winner, James Budge. Thurso isn't somewhere one would normally be passing, so I thought it only polite to look him up. I didn't have any contact details for him, but amazingly, the second person I asked just happened to know James, although he couldn't tell me his he said "hop in yer car and follow me and I'll take you round there". Well the snow was blizzarding all over the place, it was dark and cold and to be honest, I was eager to get my chinky take-away and head back to my lonely hotel room, but follow him I did, and he led me straight there. James and his wife weren't in the least bit surprised that 'biker chick' had turned up on their doorstep! After a catch up chat and a look at the bikes - the prize winning Bonnie and his current project, a stunning, jaw droppingly, droolingly scrummy purple (with sparkly bits) Triumph T100 (on which he's done all the work himself) I just happened to ask which was the best take-away in town, and no sooner had I asked, he said "hop in yer car and I'll lead the way"! Whilst oop norf, I found some nice roads that I think the Grampian club chaps might like, so we'll have to head back there some day in the summer. I also bumped into a chap who used to have a BSA when he were a lad - I told not to swear at me and why didn't he have a Triumph? Ah yes, had one of those too, a 650. One night he and a few mates had been to the local dance in town and were coming home - about four of them on the 650, pitch dark, and all of a sudden a black horse appeared in the middle of the road! How they all survived he does not know, but at least he can look back on the event with such fond memories!

Back home and out in the shed, grovelling around amongst the hay, straw, muck and mud, I've been toiling away putting the gear box back in and trying to find all the 4gears. First I had 2, then there were none, and now there are 4 again. Next up was the replacement of the clutch, I was advised to lap the shaft and hub so I did (I always do as I'm told...), a gentle tap saw it all seated nicely, although since that tap there is the same amount of movement of the whole unit (hub and shaft) as there was before I took it apart (so therefore, it must be right....hopefully...perhaps....oh well), the sprockety thing, primary chain and rotor all went back on smoothly, followed by clutch plates and then the springs and do it all up. Unfortunately I ran out of light or I would have been attacking it with the goo gun to seal it all up. Maybe tomorrow.

The last club meeting was pretty entertaining, with a talk by a TT medical marshal and an 'ordinary' marshal. The racing on the Isle of Man is in danger due to a lack of marshals, so the talk was partly to encourage people to volunteer, and tell them what it was all about. A demo by the Doc at the end was most informative and detailed how to safely remove an injured riders helmet, and the circumstances under which it would be necessary to do so. If the rider is talking and breathing then you're probably best leaving the lid alone for fear of possible neck injuries, but if in any doubt or they keep drifting off, it is best to remove the lid so as to perform the ABC - airways, breathing and circulation. So it's thanks to Doc David for the gory side of the talk and Jeremy for the insight into his marshalling experiences - and for being the patient!

Well folks, nearly time to announce Cubbies Counties officially. Oops, look what I just did.

More on that soon!


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