Thursday 27 April 2017

The XS Triple Sidecar(s) - parts galore and other good news

A very wise man once said, you can fix everything up, if you only throw unlimited amounts of ressources at it. Luckily the other XS Triple Sidecar turned out to be a lot nicer than anticipated and in reality only needs very few technical fixes, but admittedly quite a bit of cosmetical work.

The list of absolutely necessary parts is pleasantly short:

  • new (stainless) brake pistons and seals
  • overhaul kits for both brake pumps
  • new ignition lock
  • new footpeg rubbers, because they disintegrated and "the man" would consider them a risk to injury in case of a crash (and it looks rubbish)
Not shown but also coming up:
  • new tyres (these are properly rotten and the sidewalls are cracked)
  • new battery 
So it's probably going to be about a full day with (hopefully) some help from my dad and we can have a first test ride around his house!

In other news, earlier this week, I've visited my mate Don Carlos and was able to take these two pictures, which show a (relatively) unmolested wiring harness of a '77-model on both the main loom and clocks and that is what I have to replicate on mine. (All of this is gone on mine and hidden in that blob of black tape...

  And finally a small bit I can't show you, but which pleases me even more: I now have the confirmation, that I will be legally allowed to put my spare 850 engine into my '77 750 frame and officially run it as a (fully legal) 850. It's not like I haven't planned installing that 850 somewhere down the road, but to be fair, it does make things easier to have it all in the papers.

Monday 24 April 2017

The XS Triple Sidecar - it's more some sort of bizarre marathon..

I have to admit, after looking at the mess that one of the pre-owners created when installing a non-stock ignition-lock, I was in a bit of a dark hole, plus I also had the other XS-Triple to play around with and the always prominent life-got-in-the-way kind of excuses.

That's just the nicer part of the butchered mess...
So the other triple had to donate a few parts (mostly the headlight and some other cosmetical parts), which involved some major surgery in order to get to them.

That's what an unmolested loom should look like...
Now one of those "bad" habits of mine is to paint the inside of headlight shells white as it massively helps with identifying cable colours when it's slightly dark.

And that's a shot with the new (flexible) indicator fitted instead of the stock "fog-light" it came with.

The other thing I finally managed to get done (with the intention of starting to paint the forks) was to weld on a tab for the front mudguard, which came out uber-shiny compared to the initial state.

Upper part done, lower in initial state

Unfortunately Mr. overachiever in me decided to move the brake-arm-mounts to behind the fork-legs, so that's a lot of extra work that needs to be done, but hey, it's not a sprint, more of a marathon.

Sunday 23 April 2017

Helping friends with XS750ies and Honda CB125 Twins

Now you may wonder, why my progress on the sidecar is a bit slow? Well I tend to be a friendly guy and help other people. This time it actually was two on the same day:

First I met my friend Carl and helped him dial in and service his XS750. First step was to adjust the valves, which were basically all set up incorrectly by the p.o., because the stock valve settings are: 0.15 - 0.20 on the inlet and 0.20 - 0.25 on the exhaust valves, which is quite a bit wider than what you'd normally find on a bike (so can't fully blame them).

Now here's a little trick on how to do the valves on a Yamaha Triple, if you forgot your shim-tool at home: You losen all the bearing cups and remove the cam-chain tensioner and you can actually tilt them out of the way, making the whole process quite bearable.

Blessed is he, who hoards shims...

There's no pictures on how to use a strobe-light or how to sync the carbs, because there's nothing too special about it, but to hear a well tuned XS750 Triple go through the rev-range, well they are special.

 Second step of the afternoon was close to being even more fun. Never worked on a CB125 Twin before and with it being the smallest production fourstroke twin available over here, I was indeed expecting a little buzzing bee, but in all fairness... It revs to the moon and back and then you're only in second gear.

Should you ever have to swap out the carbs on one of these for a set of 110cc dirtbike Mikuni clones, the kind of jetting that seems to work (half decently) with some cheap pods is: #12.5 pilots, #100 mains and the mix-screw (unlike the real Mikunis these have mix-screws and not air-screws) 2 turns out.

Still, mighty fun for a basically guttless bike, but after an afternoon of dialing those carbs in, she finally rev'ed to 12,000RPM again and did the uphill test pulling a steady 80 to 85.

Oh and just in case you're worried... there's news on the sidecar as well, but that's for the next post.

Monday 17 April 2017

The Easter Bunny left something for me - The other XS Triple Sidecar

Now I have been a good boy (yes I really have) and good boys sometimes get a present. And if they don't friendly people let them know, that they have a sidecar rotting in their yard that can be picked up for the right price.

The owner then wrote some funny texts like "You sure you want it, it's pretty rotten 'n' all". But to be fair, I saw: A good headlight bucket, a VERY nice fuel tank and sidepanels and like new switch clusters. So these will go on my regular XS triple sidecar.

So after picking it up in Bavaria I gave it a very good wash at my dad's house and even though I wouldn't say it came out shiny and new, it did improve quite dramatically though.

So what are the future plans you ask? Well that's a fairly good question. It depends, it has all the legal paperwork for registration in Germany and in reality (except for the cosmetics) it needs a carb clean, three brake repair kits and a new (car-)battery and it'll probably run fine again. This also means, I'll definitely get the bike running the next couple of days and then it's a matter whether someone is interested in buying it as a whole OR whether it's being parted out.

And then, IF I part it out, the next question is, will I nick that 850 for my sidecar and put in the other 850 or take more parts off it for my own dirty deeds? If you're interested in a complete sidecar with German papers, drop me a line. The price won't be too bad and I could also fix it up a bit, if you feel overwhelmed by the challenge. I also have some leftover NOS mounting hardware and a new tarp for the sidecar.

Little addendum:

Tuesday 11 April 2017

The XS Triple Sidecar - Earles Fork (part 3)

It's almost done. Finally. The waterjet-cut parts have arrived and except for the axle hole coming out slightly undersized they fit like the proverbial glove.

A little bit of milling later and they actually fit in between the swingarm's legs. 

Next step was to make a set of proper brake-stay mounts and of course, I couldn't just simply weld on a set of flat steel tabs and call it a day, no I had to fabricate a set of mounts from u-channel, which I doubled up on the bottom...

Centering the wheel was a story in its own right and required even more trimming on the right side of the forks. 

I will NEVER again use the phrase "quickly build a set of earles forks" again. That and the simple fact that the next ones will be made from scratch. In reality there's not too much that hasn't been changed in order to make stuff fit, so next time I'll start with a blank page.

Sunday 2 April 2017

New favourite tool - and a Jawa (Velorex) wheel bearing swap for 17mm axles

As some may know, stock Velorex 560 and 562/700 sidecar axles are puny 15mm items. Which I suppose is totally fine if you bear in mind, that the original Jawa 350 put out 12 hp and even the final Jawa 350 models were in the low 20ies. Now even a restricted SR500 is 27hp and an unrestricted one is at least in the low 30ies. As a result, I swapped out the axle years ago for an old XS400 rear axle and fitted an XS400 rear wheel to the sidecar (thus also increasing the wheel-size to 18").

The new owner of my sidecar also bought a set of wire wheels for those... pretty moments, because to be honest, the cast wheels are very functional, but that's about the end of the story really.

Luckily there's also 6302-bearings with a 17mm inner cage. Swapping out the old Jawa bearings was slightly overdue though.

The first hurdle that has to be overcome is this aluminium cover, which covers the sprocket-drive on the wheel. It just has to be pried off. Normally they are rattly and loose - this one wasn't.

And here it is, my new favourite tool: a 3 Euro hotplate for heating up hubs and bearings. Works an absolute charm as it heats up the parts very evenly. 

Slightly crusty original bearings... 

The only tricky part is this clip that retains the bearing and is usually hid under a stupid layer of crud!

Proper new double-sealed 6302 (17mm) bearing.

And there you have it. The only part missing in the pictures is the part, where I drill out the center-tube to 17mm...