I’ve learnt some valuable lessons in the last week.
For a start, my plans are useless in the face of reality. I had planned to sell the Honda VFR750 and part-exchange my Triumph Sprint for a Triumph Street Triple (Striple) at a bike shop. I thought they’d be able to give me a good price for mine as they’d already inflated the price of the Striple. Ha! They offered me £1,700 for my bike. Not even.
So, change of plan, sell both bikes privately and buy a Striple.
I tarted them up, got them listed, thinking one would sell then, buy the Striple, sell the other.
Suddenly I had two people interested in the bikes. Typical, but I could always push-bike for a few days.
A guy came around to see my Triumph while I was at work. I left it chained to the house and left the key with Wendy so he could start it up and see there was nothing wrong with it.
Apparently he did. Then stopped it. Then started it again. After a few goes it wouldn’t start again. I got home to a dead bike. I thought he’d drained the battery, my initial google said that it’s a big ol’ engine and it drains batteries. Fair enough, I ordered a new battery, while I put the current one on charge. The next day it still wouldn’t run. And it was making a horrible noise. Like something was rattling around in the engine.
I did a lot more google research and found the early 1050cc engines were known to have a flaw, this disc that only allows the starter motor assembly to spin one way. Called the sprag clutch. I found a video of a 1050 with sprag clutch issues and it was the exact sound. The guy who sold it to me knew the sprag was going and sold it on quick. I’d never even heard of a sprag clutch so he got me good.
I had to tell the guy who wanted it that it wasn’t for sale, then text the guy who wanted the Honda and tell him the same as I needed it for work.
I found a video on replacing the sprag clutch, which helpfully listed the parts you’d need and their numbers so I could order them off the Triumph site.
£385 for the parts.
£16 for a workshop manual.
£40 for a battery.
Oh yes, the pain keeps coming.
Today was my day off so I thought I’d strip the bike down. Then I got an email saying my battery and bits were arriving today. Bonus.
It was fiddly getting the fairing off, and a royal pain trying to prize the engine covers off without using any force, but the job itself was suspiciously straight forward.
Stripped it down to there, and didn’t need to go any further.
As the guy on the video said, Triumph have never stated that the replacement is and upgrade, or recalled and refitted what they knew was a faulty part, but look at how beefed up the “not upgraded” part is:
I should have taken a picture from the other side. There are roller bearings lining the sprag clutches. Presumably it’s for that you are paying the extortionate fee.
Anyway, I was ripped off by Triumph and the guy who sold me the bike, but we are where we are. The job had to be done. The good news is it all went back together and started first time.
This was me starting it up, very nervously:
I turned it off and on a few times to test it, no horrible noise, all working fine.
While I was freezing my arse off and filthy anyway, I had a look at the Honda as well. One of the pipes was cool on tickover. I’d stripped and cleaned, then changed, the slow jets about 3 times. Awful job, you have to strip loads off just to get at the carbs. Today I checked the plugs. Which made no sense, but I thought I’d rule it out. I put new spark plugs in, fired it up and the other pipe was cold. Huh? I screwed the HT leads more firmly into the the spark plug caps, and… Bob’s your uncle. Hot pipes. The amount of work I did on the carbs… Ah well. Working now.
So I’ve relisted the bikes tonight.
I have seen the bike I want. I was getting my head turned by the newer models with ABS. And the upgraded suspension and brakes of the R models. But you start adding thousands of pounds to the price. And the thing is these are naked bikes. The engine is going to take a battering from salt and grit over winter. They won’t stay pristine for long if you use them. And with my riding skills, am I really going to benefit from fancy pants suspension and sharper brakes?
I took a step back from licking the window of the latest and dearest Striples and looked for a “cheap” one I can still enjoy.
Look at this:
2009, 16K miles, I’ve been through all it’s MOTs online, it’s never failed one, and only had two advisories on one of them a few years ago. The current owner has had it for 3 years, doing 2K a year! It’s had the valves done (a big and expensive job) and has an alarm fitted.
And the 675 Striples don’t have the sprag clutch issue.
The only downside is it’s not red. It’s already been proven that red ones are faster. Basic science.
It’s 173 miles away. Obviously. They are never local. It’s the law. And Wendy can’t drive me. Again.
I’m thinking of trading her in for a car with a tow hook and bike trailer.
If someone would just buy mine before this one sells it would be happy days.
In other, non obsessing-over-Triumphs news, I’ve taken a week off running to try and rest the tendons on the top of my foot. They are a lot better but the still won’t heal. I can tell as soon as I start moving they are going to flare up again.
There. 3 non-bike sentences. Variety is the spice of blogs.