I went to look at some bikes today but sadly they weren't for me so I came home and spent a few hours in the workshop instead. Work consisted mainly of polishing, cleaning and putting the clutch back together, I fitted the chain that goes from the engine to the box while I was at it. Both the chain and the sprockets look in great condition so I see no need to change them, I am going to have to have a ponder on the sprocket retaining nut though. The one I have is stripped to the point of being useless, I need to find out what size it is and see if I can get another one, if not I shall have to make one.
I have cleaned up the guard that goes over the primary chain, this is one of my favourite parts of the bike because it has clearly been made of bits that somebody found lying about. The flat plate is made from an old sign, the paint is still on the back of it, I just love stuff like that, it tells a story. There's probably nobody left alive that knows what the story really is but that just kind of adds value to it in my opinion. Others may disagree, I don't care, partly because I have been drinking but mainly because I know that I am preserving something good, something that somebody cared about and spent a great deal of time creating in his garden shed or whatever. I think if more people spent more time in their sheds the world would be a better place.
I got my carbs refitted but haven't plumbed the fuel pipes in yet, I ran out of daylight and solar energy, which is never good in an off grid workshop. It's looking pretty clean now, not immaculate because I don't want to erase 60 years of history - that would be an act of vandalism. It's just how I want it, it looks nice from a distance but the battle scars are still evident when you look up close.
It has created a fair bit of debate on facebook groups, which is generally pretty cool. I haven't got any previous experience with British bikes or with sprint bikes, my knowledge is all around much later Japanese and Italian stuff. I have had an awful lot of help and some criticism, which is all fine and dandy, I am learning loads. I have never attempted to run anything on methanol before, I have no idea what mixture ratios and ignition timing setting work best. The bike only needs to run at full throttle so it will be easier to dial in than a bike built for general road use. The jets in the carbs are huge, it was running methanol before, the biggest question mark is the ignition timing and lots of people have lots of theories. Because my bike has a 4 plug head it will run the central plugs when on a run - this gives the best flame pattern spreading from the center of the combustion chamber. Empirical data suggests such an arrangement requires 8 degrees less advance than a side mounted plug usually found in the Triumph hemispherical cylinder head. With a normal setting of 36 degrees I set my advance to 28. I have since been told that methanol requires more advance than petrol so significantly more advance is required with figures of up to 42 degrees being mooted. That's a hell of a lot. It should run at 28 so I may leave it at that for now and experiment from there, it depends on who says what really, I don't yet know who the keyboard engineers are versus the guys that have won races. I shall find out and I shall learn from the masters.
in the mean time there are still loads of jobs to be done, I need to buy some tubing so I can plumb in the oil feed and return, I need some for the fuel feed too. It's getting close to start up time so the next big job is to make a roller starter, I need one that will start this bike and my little Maserati 50cc race bike so a roller type seems to be the thing to go for. I fear this may take more time and development than the bike itself.