Monday, April 22, 2013

Getting on with it.

With the Sportster out of commission again (we don't know what's wrong yet, so far we only noticed a very weak spark, but the rest is still unknown) I took the Commando out a couple of times, though it's totally useless in town thanks to the "modified" head.
I quickly put it back in the garage and decided it was time to crack on with it.

Off comes the bodywork, it will be going back to Toni Raia for a clean-up, a couple of repairs and fresh decals here and there. Don't worry though, the colour will stay the same glorious, brash, "aurora galactica" purple you've come to know and love (or loathe, whatever).
So then looking around the garage, thinking about how to get back home I saw the BSA... it was as if it looked back and me and just said " 'sup? "
It took a little bit of persuasion to get it going (something to do with the carburetter, we'll get to that particular story someday) but eventually it did. While I was at it I also greased up the clutch and front brake cable ends as they were squeaking every time I pulled the levers and it was like nails on a chalkboard.
Apart from checking the tires and putting a spare fuse in my pocket, there was not much else to do, so I took off as conservatively as possible to try to keep the exhaust bark at bay. This thing is not exactly neighbourhood friendly so I try to attract as little attention as I can. It doesn't really work though, a dude on a grey BMW G/S almost crashed into the back of a van as he turned around to look at the BSA...
Loud pipes aside, it turns out that it is totally usable on a daily basis in town: you're narrower than anything else on the road, so lane-splitting is a breeze. The bike is very light, so parking and kerb-hopping aren't a problem. I've cleaned up the rims and a few other shiny bits so it looks presentable and doesn't jarr with its surroundings.
There is a short "to do" list for the BSA. First of all, I fished the new pair of front brake shoes out of a box and will get around to fitting those as soon as I get my Sportster back.

The front brake lever also needs some attention because it's not clamping down properly on the handlebar. Last but not least is the rear wheel sprocket, which hopefully won't require shortening the chain (in case I later decide to go back up to the larger sprocket).
I was musing all this on my way to Witold's, where I found him working on his Commando redux:

He's doing a lot and the details will be part of a separate post once he's finished and the bike is on the road again, burning rubber, tarmac and the landscape in general.
Our friend Marco (one of the Corsica marauders) came by on his lovely BSA Thunderbolt for a quick fork oil change. It turned out to be a little bit more time-consuming than you might have thought, and I have a sneaking suspicion that it's going to take more than just oil to get that suspension working properly...
What a lovely scene, don't you think?


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