Be careful what you wish for

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Alan_B44
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Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Hello fellow optimists, I'd like to share my current and future ramblings regarding my ..... ahem (cough), dream bike. I have ridden bikes my entire adult life starting in the early 1980's with a 1970 H*nda S90 through to my current mount a Hardley Ableson 'Steet Bob" with all sorts in between from a GSXR, a T140V and an assortment of MZ 150's and many more. However the one bike I always loved and desired was a Starfire or a Victor, eventually the stars have aligned for me and lo and behold ... I found a Starfire rolling chassis, it was sat there challenging me to tackle its many faults but more or less complete and at the right price, I was so pleased I cleared my shed to make room in anticipation.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by skippy »

It's always good to see an old bike brought back to life. :thumb
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

IMG_1197.jpg
Here is the object of my desire
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

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Now while collecting said 'object of desire' I noticed sat on the patio of the vendor sat an unloved B44E (1966, the year of my birth!). It was destiny ... I had to have it, so a deal was struck so now I'm building a special, as for paperwork just a NOVA so I'm looking forward to the registration of this beauty.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Well the motor selects gears, has compression and apart from a broken fin looks not to bad ... wow the restoration business looks easy thinks I. Oooops, what an optimistic fool I am ..... it was always going to be a complete strip down, right down to the sludge trap. I didn't expect all the water, more fool me, it is 50 years old! I should have known it would have spent part of its life in a canal ....
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Alan_B44
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Hey Skippy, thanks for the thumbs up and words of encouragement ... if you fancy a quick trip up to the northern hemisphere for a brew and some spannering I have spare room with your name on it :grin:

Now if anyone from Augusta in GA (Georgia ?) recognises this label I found on the rear mudguard I would love to know what the missing letters are as I would like to reproduce it on the finished machine.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by koncretekid »

Alan_B44 wrote:Well the motor selects gears, has compression and apart from a broken fin looks not to bad ... wow the restoration business looks easy thinks I. Oooops, what an optimistic fool I am ..... it was always going to be a complete strip down, right down to the sludge trap. I didn't expect all the water, more fool me, it is 50 years old! I should have known it would have spent part of its life in a canal ....
Actually, Alan, methinks yours looks pretty good - relative, of course, to the boat anchor I bought, sight unseen!
Well, the outside looked clean!
Well, the outside looked clean!
Now, this motor, including the crankshaft after rebuilding, powers my 600cc B50 to 150 mph, so there is hope.

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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by beat »

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by lathejack »

Hello Alan.

Well I have also always had a liking for the Starfire 250, and Victor or Shooting Star 441. I was born just a year before you, and had a 441 Shooting Star in 1983. That didn't work out well, I never got to ride it and then it caught fire.

I also started riding in the early 1980's but stopped in the early 90's, and amongst owning some splendid Japanese bikes of 70's & 80's vintage, I also had a few T140's and a Trident, but I always had a soft spot for a Starfire so I finaly bought one about three years ago, a great little bike.

As for the label, to me it looks like...

SPORTS CYCLE CENTER

BSA-Y*maha-BMW

2860 HIWAY SOUTH

PH, 738-5423 AUGUSTA, GA.

At first I thought the word SOUTH might be DULUTH, but it looks more like SOUTH.
Last edited by lathejack on Sun May 13, 2018 10:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Tom, after seeing your post I'm actually feeling lucky, calling that a boat anchor just about sums up what you have found inside those cases! if I can do half the job that you must have done I should end up with a cracking little machine, I'm inspired.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Hi lathejack thanks for the reply, and the info .... I have to admit I had a little chuckle about your B44 catching fire, I bet there's a great story there, however you must have been gutted. The thing that attracted me to the B25 / B44 was the (now useless) fibreglass tank, I love the shape and the white and blue / white and red paintwork, I wish I'd bought one all those years ago when they were only a few quid!
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Well the motor is finally stripped .... I'm so glad I found another pair of cases, these look buggered! I reckon tig welding and a spot of machining would sort the bearing housing but ..... how the hell could I ever trust that gearbox!
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I think I will concentrate on the rolling chassis and get the motor professionally rebuilt, can anyone recommend someone to create a crated motor from my pile of bits!
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by minetymenace »

Mark Cook. It will come back better than perfect, but will cost you a pretty penny.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

I hadn't thought of CCM, I will try to get some sort of estimate on the labour, I will take years over this if I don't get the engine built for me. The strange thing is after the first wreckage I bought I have got carried away, I now have a few other ... 'projects' ... I've called a halt to finding more, now I have the makings of this B25 / 44 hybrid, a B44 VS, TR25W, B25T (engine only) & most recently acquired a B50T (with matching no's, a V5 & empty engine cases) .... I'm at the beginning of a quest :)
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by tridentperu »

Or you could try Roger at RTS racing near Gloucester.

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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by minetymenace »

I think you are about to spend a small fortune. Everything has to be fettled, everything. If you don't do it yourself you will have to pay top dollar for it to be done right. Advice here is free, please keep us posted with your progress.. :cool:
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by koncretekid »

Looks like you may have to do it yourself! I always start a project by complete disassembly, anyway. While I'm assessing the motor, I work on stripping the frame, paint remover, outside in a wheelbarrow, scrapers and wire brushes with a hose nearby, works very well but the last bits I sandblast with a cheap sand blaster. You might be able to find someone to do this last part. A nice new paint job on the frame always gets me excited about the rest of the build.

The motor, armed with the Rupert Ratio book or a shop manual, is about the simplest motor you'll ever find - - only one of everything helps. You'll need a new piston, rings, possibly a rod and valves/valve guides, and a set of seals and new bearings to do it right, but it's all readily available. The roller bearing cranks (B44 and B50) are a more expensive repair, so check carefully for "perceptible up and down movement." I had one re-conditioned by Ed V. who honed the rod and installed oversize rollers - - the postage was more than the repairs. Inspect the rod carefully and sand and polish out any nicks and dents and they will hold up under normal riding. Racing - - that's another and will require a new top grade rod. The crank bearings and mainshaft sleeve gear bearing are metric so you can buy them anywhere (C3 grade, with or without seals which can be removed). Only a couple are inch sizes and a bit harder to source.

The transmissions are largely interchangeable from the earlier models, although the post '69 ones have a better shift plate and high gear shift fork. Early mainshafts will fit up to including '71/'72, but not backwards compatible due to change in the kick start gears, quadrant, and inner timing case. Of course, cases changed in the late models so interchanging them requires a bit of surgery to the rear engine mounts, but it's all doable.

Painted cycle parts on the late models are certainly easier to find and can be repaired and repainted, chrome fenders and aluminum tanks and such are like gold. Wheels, of course, usually need rebuilding with rims and spokes, which get expensive, but you can usually postpone that phase if they are solid.

It will be a good learning exercise and you'll find lots of help on this forum as well as others. And it helps if you can find someone close by with experience - - my immediate help comes from 1,000 miles away but is as close as my phone.

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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by ringding »

Project bikes, why do we do it to ourselves! ;-)

I used Roger at RTS a few years ago for my Barracuda when it needed a bottom end rebuild. I was very pleased with the outcome, it was oil tight (and still is) and runs very sweetly. Motivation for using RTS over anyone else was that I could drive there and drop it off, but I'm sure there are other places that would do a great job too.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by koncretekid »

ringding wrote:Project bikes, why do we do it to ourselves! ;-)
1.) Because some of the old timers are gone.

2.) Because we can!
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by ringding »

I agree, and also because we enjoy it too, despite the occasional frustrations.
The sense of satisfaction I get from taking something that doesn't work, or doesn't work well, stripping and rebuilding it to how it should be is immense. Something I'm trying to show my to boys, so they appreciate how things work and should be cared for.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Thanks for the words of encouragement guys, after reading your reply's I know I will have to do at least this first motor myself.

My problem is going to be time, this will be a long build!

First Question, as the motor is completely stripped, Koncretekid I like you way of doing things ... I cannot find a good fitting spanner (wrench) for the swing arm nut, does anyone know the correct size? I have a set of Whitworth and AF .... neither are a good close fit, Ive had a paint stripping gun on the nut with an adjustable but still no joy, I'm close to a small cut and a cold chisel :)

I have cleaned up the clutch parts with a sonic bath, I'll post some pics over the weekend, I think the results are pretty good, there is some rust on the gears do you guys think after sonic cleaning they will be ok to use?

Anyway thanks for the encouragement, I have my mojo back again
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by David Taylor »

A 30mm socket is a snug fit on my 250 Trail Blazer swinging arm nut.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

30mm is indeed a great fit on the '68 starfire David, the damned thing is so tight that the spanner just slips off when I apply some pressure though ..... looks like I'll have to split the nut :(
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Slightly off topic but ..... I do love a bargain ..... I have recently acquired a 2LS brake plate, sold as an 'early' 67/68 B25 item. It looks like the one I'm familiar with but the Cable comes out at 90º to the fork leg, I have seen similar fitted to unit singles, however .... this one has two recesses that I can find no pics of and have no idea what they are for ! I think the plate is actually a Triumph item from '68 onwards but I'm not sure, all opinions are welcome chaps
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by YK55 »

That's the 8" TLS fitted to 1968 model Triumph and BSA twins. For 1969 and 1970 the cable routing was changed to a vertical (shorter) location. It's a very good brake but the longer cable makes it feel a bit spongy and also the cable can snag under the rear of the mudguard which is why they altered the design. (and someone has drilled two extra holes in it)
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

It's the extra holes that were throwing me! I might just use this on one of the other wrecks ...... next 'bargain' target will be some spindles, actuating levers and linkages, I think. Thanks for the opinion YK55
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

I've been slightly distracted for the last month or two by another 'must have bargain', this time a '71 B25T
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I've spent my little free time since December fixing all the little faults, but tonight I finally have it running ..... now it's time to battle with the DVLA. Back to the B25/44, I have the forks stripped new tubes, bushes and seals are here so its time to get some powder coating done and then reassemble .... updates to follow, soon I hope.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by lathejack »

Very nice Victor 250 you've got yourself there, they look like serious off road tyres its wearing.
I've got one of them too, great little bikes.
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Hey lathejack you have a beautifully clean bike there, I have centre stand envy! My tyres are horrendous very very squirmy on the tarmac, I've only had a quick ride up the street as its not road legal yet, next job is to change them to something sensible ..... I hope I can get it through the dvla plating procedure before the summer is over
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Re: Be careful what you wish for

Post by Alan_B44 »

Well it's been an age since I last posted, I've been sidetracked with other BSA's and work has really taken over my life, however I have finally got the frame welded in the foot rest area and got it all blasted and powder coated. Getting the swing arm out was one hell of a job, however changing the silent block bushes was worse ! getting them out was bad enough, I ended up having to get a friend with a hydraulic press to install the new ones, the threaded rod method just wasn't man enough for the job. I'm making this sound miserable but I have really been enjoying myself and I've met some great new friends, at the moment I'm waiting for the covid situation to resolve itself so that an old friend can true up my wheels for me, when that happens I'll pop some tyres on and hopefully I'll be at the rolling chassis stage.
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