MOT success, electrical failure — and why these bikes need to be ridden, not hidden...
My T595 passed her MOT last week. Three advisories and a 12-month ticket. Lovely job. More importantly, it was the first opportunity to shake the bike down since I bought it and to iron out any issues before any serious mileage.
The issues started before I left the house. Low battery voltage meant a jump was required but she soon rumbled into life. Strike one. A mile up the road the single seat hump hit me in the back as it made a bid for freedom due to an apparently sticky catch. Strike two.
Initial comedy gripes aside, the bike appears to be rather good. After a full service with six of the 12 valve clearances corrected, she now idles properly and runs as Hinckley’s engineers intended. The gearbox is slick, the brakes are responsive with plenty of feel, and she pulls cleanly from tick over all the way to the limiter. Handling is neutral and pretty lazy, not helped by the slight self-centering tendencies of the head bearings which are a little notchy. She runs hot in traffic but it seems that’s quite common with these. Oh, and the steering lock is an absolute pig to engage. Other than that it was an encouraging start and overall the bike feels — and sounds — fantastic.
MOT test completed, I dropped in to the Triumph dealer to book in for a recall (15 years after it was issued) and a terrible coffee before heading back home across Dartmoor.
The run back onto the moor is narrow and poorly surfaced in places but she took it all in her stride. Sweeping lines and an addictive torque curve are the order of the day. I'm in the groove, I'm grinning like an idiot and I'm nearly home.
And then she stopped.
No histrionics or drama, just a dull 'click', a sudden cut of engine power and a silent glide to a halt a mile from my house. Strike three. Twenty minutes of tinkering and pulling fuses and relays and she would only spin over with no attempt at firing.
International rescue was called (wife with van) and the bike was loaded up and taken home where it promptly started and ran as though nothing had happened. Intermittent electrical faults. The best kind. Joy.
They say that these things come in threes. I'm going to run some checks and am hopeful that the fuel pump relay is on the blink and that a new one cures the problem.
In other news, I've been up to see Clint at Wild West Custom Paint in Exeter this weekend who has been doing a little bit of paintwork for the MV for me — his work is superb. He has repaired a small area of damage on the seat unit and it is as good as new. If you're anywhere near Exeter and need something painting then Clint's your man.
The R6 is coming along. There is a bit of a backstory to this bike. It has been stood around a bit having covered only 600 miles in the last six or seven years. The tyres it came with are Dunlop 207s. Date stamped 2002...
It looks like it has been sat outside and partially covered for a lot of this time so it's got some unusual little bits of corrosion that are being sorted. The front end was particularly tatty so the forks have been stripped to replace the pitted stanchions and to paint the lower legs. Discs and calipers are being swapped out for much fresher OE items (thanks to some eBay bargains) and a new headlight bracket has replaced the furry old one. She'll be really tidy after a bit of a refresh — I'll get some pictures up on the Facebook page once she's finished.
Main job for this week — sort out some breakdown cover...