Of RD400s and XS650s and Trumfs (longish)

Discussion in 'Classic Motorbikes' started by The Older Gentleman, Jan 22, 2006.

  1. Well, that's been an eventful day...

    First, Lozzo turned up, and started drooling at Hog's RD400. We agreed
    that it was nice and tidy, but the yellow respray (although well done)
    was fractionally lighter than stock. No worries. We then spent half an
    hour trying to refit a Trophy 1200 headlight into the fairing. Not fun.

    Then Timo arrive, simply because he fancied being part of the fun. Then
    Hog and Irene.

    So we wheeled out the XS650. I told Hog that, while the electric start
    worked fine, it was fun to kick it, and demonstrated that if you eased
    it over a couple of times with the ignition off, and then booted it, it
    would start first kick. And it did, and settled down to a 500rpm cold
    idle. Lovely. Lozzo reckoned it was the best XS650 he'd ever seen.

    The RD400 took three kicks to fire up, and Lozzo went into spasms, bless
    him. He was leaping up and down, frantically trying to pull his helmet
    and his jacket on simultaneously.

    I pointed out that it needed filling up, as it only had a litre of fuel
    in the tank, and he started gibbering about the need to fill it up, now,
    himself, personally, and so off he went, followed by Hog on the XS,
    sniffing up the two-stroke fumes.

    Ten minutes later they were back, with Lozzo in ecstasy, and some
    suspicious stains on the RD's seat. He reckoned the engine was spot-on,
    but agreed that the gearbox needed attention.

    So.... some farting about, and they set off, and Timo and I returned to
    the Trophy to button it all up, only to find that the left-hand fairing
    panel didn't line up...

    ....which meant that....

    ....yes, the main subframe which carries top fairing, side fairings,
    headlights, clocks, half the wiring loom, CDI, various relays, you name
    it, had been bent in the impact. Fractionally, but enough to throw
    everything out on the left-hand side.


    Oh well, a few weeks ago I'd bought a brand new one on Ebay, on impulse,
    for £20 (cost £200 normally) so we removed the entire fairing and set
    to, to replace the subframe. Clocks off, and a dozen cable ties removed,
    because the wiring loom is fastened to the subframe in very definite
    positions. Common sense prevailed, and we took lots of digital pix of
    everything before we removed or dismantled it, and downloaded the pix to
    my iBook.

    And with the help of memory and the pix, we managed to reassemble
    everything. A couple of false starts which meant having to remove the
    fairing panel(s) two or three times - everything has to be bolted on in
    a very specific sequence, and if you get something out of synch, then
    you simply have to remove everything and reassemble in the proper order.
    I now consider myself an expert in Trophy 1200 bodywork removal.

    And eventually, it was done. Timo went home (and thanks, mate, for the
    help) and The Doctor and I went out to a dinner engagement.

    And I've just had a message from Hog to say that they got to WUN's, and
    Lozzo pressed the XS's electric starter and the entire electrical system
    has gone dead. I don't fucking believe this - it's behaved perfectly for
    me, and the moment Lozzo touches it, it fritzes.

    Oh, and apparently the RD400 nipped up no fewer than four times on the
    ride up to WUN's gaff.

    Stay tuned people, because this one looks like fun.
    The Older Gentleman, Jan 22, 2006
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  2. If it's anything like mine, the starter is just about to get lazy and
    cease to work very well.
    Grimly Curmudgeon, Jan 22, 2006
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  3. The Older Gentleman

    Lozzo Guest

    The Older Gentleman said...
    You ain't kidding.
    It wasn't the starter button that fritzed, it started on the kick as I
    like kick-starting bikes when there's one fitted. I pulled away and the
    bike appeared to stall, which given the lack of feeling in my left hand
    after suffering a mini-stroke, doesn't surprise me it happens sometimes
    when I'm tired. However, when I tried to restart, I noticed a complete
    lack of idiot lights, headlight and everything else electrical. Not my
    fault then.

    It would appear that there's a major cable gone open circuit between
    battery and ignition switch on the pos side or battery and frame on the
    earth side. Hog and I will sort it tomorrow.
    Nothing drastic, just caught me out the first time in lane 4 where the
    M4 peels off the M25. I made it to the hard shoulder, where I let it
    cool and then carried on to the next seizure. I am a little perturbed by
    this as I was going no faster than 70mph at 6K revs and the cyl heads on
    this RD should dissipate the heat better.

    Stroker ownership rocks though, distance is still measured in fag breaks
    while waiting for seized engines to cool down.

    I seem to have taken over Timo's mantle today, it must be because he
    touched me this afternoon when I shook his hand.
    Lozzo, Jan 22, 2006
  4. The Older Gentleman

    Ken Guest

    I am starting to see why ownership of a proper classic would really be
    a no no for you people...................lol. As you dont even seem to
    have a clue about simple Jap stuff, WTF would you do when faced with
    major work on Brit or Italian (reach for the credit card I think!).

    Ken, Jan 22, 2006

  5. As I said to Hog, I had one problem on it last year, when it suddenly
    died on my ride home. I flicked the kill switch on and off and it
    recovered - but then all the electrics, etc were working. It was just
    the ignition that died.

    I stripped down the kill switch and the contacts in it were very old
    and dirty, so I cleaned them up and reassembled them. But that was it,
    and it's been fine since and obviously isn't the same problem as this,
    since this is affecting all the electrics. Bloody odd.
    The Older Gentleman, Jan 22, 2006
  6. The Older Gentleman

    Timo Geusch Guest

    What did you use to clean up the contacts? Anything abrasive?
    Timo Geusch, Jan 22, 2006
  7. The Older Gentleman

    Timo Geusch Guest

    It'll be interesting to see what you'll find inside this engine when
    you open it up.

    It's probably the fault of the carb rubbers, mind.
    Are you trying to have me quarantined or what? Hmm, maybe I should go
    out to the garage and touch a bike, if that doesn't break it maybe the
    affliction has changed hosts...
    Timo Geusch, Jan 22, 2006
  8. The Older Gentleman

    Krusty Guest

    Sounds like my estimate for the number of spare pistons required was a
    little low.
    Indeed. :)


    Off-road classifieds

    '02 MV Senna '96 Tiger '79 Fantic 250
    Krusty, Jan 22, 2006
  9. The Older Gentleman

    Timo Geusch Guest

    You can say that again...
    .... just in time to provide another pair of hands to finally fit the
    barsteward headlight.
    And it was bloody nice meeting the two of them. I guess Hog'll remember
    meeting me this time around...

    Liked the way he figured out who I was.
    That was fun to watch.
    Heh, indeed. Made me remember why I was so fond of working on the Pan
    You're welcome.
    Would this be a bad time to mention that I had ridden this bike around
    the block sometime ago?
    Timo Geusch, Jan 22, 2006
  10. Contact cleaner and a rag.
    The Older Gentleman, Jan 22, 2006
  11. The Older Gentleman

    Timo Geusch Guest

    The Older Gentleman was seen penning the following ode to ... whatever:
    Just checking - there've been so many occasions in the classic rags
    where people recommended cleaning up contacts with fine sandpaper that
    I'm wondering why there are still any working bikes left in the UK.
    Timo Geusch, Jan 22, 2006
  12. The Older Gentleman

    Paul - xxx Guest

    Timo Geusch came up with the following;:
    You have a definite cruel streak ... ;)
    Paul - xxx, Jan 22, 2006
  13. The Older Gentleman

    Timo Geusch Guest

    Only occasionally.
    Timo Geusch, Jan 22, 2006
  14. <suspicious>

    you didn't let Timo ride it, did you?


    probably a loose battery terminal or something.

    Austin Shackles. www.ddol-las.net my opinions are just that
    Too Busy: Your mind is like a motorway. Sometimes it can be jammed by
    too much traffic. Avoid the jams by never using your mind on a
    Bank Holiday weekend.
    from the Little Book of Complete B***ocks by Alistair Beaton.
    Austin Shackles, Jan 22, 2006
  15. Timo Geusch wrote
    It is a reasonable question to ask and as one who had an apprenticeship
    and was taught Contact Technology and Maintenance #101 and subsequently
    spent a couple of not very happy years applying what I know I would be
    reluctant to use anything as abrasive as Sandpaper and go for a more
    technical solution. Mind you I still have my diamond impregnated
    contact cleaner tool, so I can.

    Drawing a solvent dampened cotton cloth or paper through the points can
    often be as effective as grinding the surface away with gravel.
    steve auvache, Jan 22, 2006
  16. steve auvache wrote
    I suspect but have not proven that those cloth tapes sometimes found in
    tape head cleaning cassettes might be just the thing.
    steve auvache, Jan 22, 2006
  17. The Older Gentleman

    Guest Guest

    I've got one of those Carborundum-impregnated (IYSWIM) rubber blocks
    from RS components, which you can cut slivers off with a sharp knife. It
    gets the worst of the crud off, but I wouldn't use it routinely - as you
    say, too abrasive.

    Thick brown paper envelopes are good - folded rough side out. Also check
    the condenser - the smaller the spark across the points, the longer they
    stay in good nick.


    Guest, Jan 23, 2006
  18. The Older Gentleman

    'Hog Guest

    Well the rubbers are past it but the cause was most likely the finger
    tight spark plugs. In fact most of the fastners on the bike were finger
    tight, very strange. Left side had nibbled the piston nearly through.

    Ups and downs.
    The jumping 6th gear is just a missing circlip and thrust washer on the
    input shaft.
    Aforesaid piston needs replacing.
    Crank wear is a bit beyond comfort, may as well have it re-done while it
    is stripped.
    Other than that it's just new inlet rubbers, reeds and downpipe-silencer
    Bores look good.
    Frame and some cycle parts need powder coating, as expected.
    Need to find a complete new seat if possible.

    With a little bit of TLC it's going to be a lovely bike to own. As soon
    as I jumped on it I though *Yes, this is just so right*

    Many thanks to Loz and Nigel for helping me with the rebuild.
    'Hog, Jan 24, 2006
  19. The Older Gentleman

    'Hog Guest

    Yes despite the small niggles I am very glad to have that RD. When it is
    fettled I can see it getting regular sunny day use on the B roads.
    Nice bus straight from T1 to Carshalton and a taxi from the station.
    Irene had never "toured" Sarf Lundon before, suddenly NI looks so much
    After a new fuse and a good run it spins like a dervish on the starter
    and fires up every time.
    I think he is heading towards *ownership* again. Good form.
    Ewwww, that is a *bitch*. K's are better in this respect, only the
    centre panel fits to the main fairing frame, other bits are on several
    small brackets and easily straightened out.
    Just the fuse holder squashed between the seat and battery.
    Loose spark plugs.
    'Hog, Jan 24, 2006
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