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Web site updated 26th January 2018

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  • Motor Cycles - I have owned a few in my time, from a Triumph Tiger Cub, that I passed my Test on and then bought a newer model  BSA C15 then I purchased a Royal Enfield Constellation with a Bullet Side Car. I then decided to buy a 1959 Triumph Thunderbird with a 6TA 650cc twin cylinder engine complete with High Lift Valves that whistled when closing the throttle. I bought a newer bike many years later, a 1965 Harley Davidson XLCH 1000cc Iron Head Shovel, which I still own. I also bought a couple of Buells. A Cyclone 1203cc V Twin and then a Firebolt with stage II tuning kit fuel injected and a blower. That one went rather well. I still prefer the Old Iron Lady!


  • Tip 1

    I recently repaired a nasty fault with the XLCH. The fault was "Severe misfire of the rear cylinder, front one OK".

    Timing?  How can that be, it is mechanical, (no electronics apart from a condenser). I replaced the condenser and no difference. A compression test proved OK, in fact the rear piston was slightly higher than the front one. Swapping the plug leads/plugs over made no difference, then a careful look at the contact breaker cam revealed the error.

    The contact breaker cam had spun around 180 degrees, not affecting the front cylinder but firing the rear 40 degrees too far retarded. Removal, cleaning and replacing affected a cure.


  • Tip 2

    Replacing the thrust bearing on a 1200 Sportster fitted with a "Dry Clutch".

    Remove the oil from the primary chain case. Disassemble the clutch actuator and remove the clutch puller bolt. Remove the centre circlip from the clutch housing and remove the old bearing/bits of bearing. If the bearing has broken, use a cheap deep socket of the appropriate size and an open vice to knock the old bearing housing out. Snap-on Tools tend to be too expensive to replace! Fit the new bearing on the old shaft and press into the housing, refitting is the reverse procedure. Use Hylomar Blue to fit the new gasket, it doesn't go hard and crack like the red stuff. If it's good enough for Rolls Royce it's good enough for HD.

    (I heard somewhere that HD stands for "Hundred Dollars" as that is the average cost of spare parts!)


  • Tip 3

    HD use a different charging system to Lucas in the UK. The dynamo with the Lucas system puts current on the field winding to excite the armature to produce power. HD short circuit the field windings negative lead to ground and use the latent magnetism in the iron core to produce a small current that increases the magnetic strength which in turn increases the current output of the dynamo. Regulation is by way of removing the short circuit when the battery voltage reaches 14Volts or so. Crude but effective I think and HD regulators cost around 80 which is about $100.


  • Triumph, Royal Enfield and BSA  (1947 to 1975)


  • Travel - I like to travel. I have never felt the need to travel abroad, well I did go to the Isle of Wight Festival back in 1970 and watched Jimmy Hendrix live. I remember some of it! When I have seen the UK I will travel to a country that is very green and not far from Wales. Wonderful countryside and friendly people, oh yes and the Black Stuff.
  • Investing and Money - Money, Cash and Savings don't go together at present due to the economic climate. So I will write no more about it.
  • Specialist engine oils and lubricants
  • Interest 1 -Folk music. I play a little but rely on the idea that if I make the audience laugh, I've cracked it. Seems to work!
  • Interest 2 - Getting my hands dirty fixing old motorbikes.
  • Interest 3 - Radio 4 Extra and is very interesting. Miss Marples to Hancock's Half Hour. Wonderful. I don't own a TV as they take up too much time, a radio allows both enjoyment and entertainment whist doing other things like research or household tasks like the washing up!

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This site was last updated 27-01-2018 Jon Snell 1999-2016 all rights reserved.