Thursday, 27 January 2011
The Bonnie wakes up...
I've just returned from a brief (cold!) ride on the Bonnie (Triumph Bonneville 750cc T140D Special). It was the first ride since November, so the first since the big freeze in December when she got thoroughly cold-soaked in the garage. Here's how it went....
I wheel it out of the garage, put it on the centre stand, turn on the fuel taps, set the chokes on the carbs to 'rich', ignition 'on', then kick it over. Nothing. Kick again and it bursts into brief life and dies. Kick again - one cylinder fires up. I catch it on the throttle and then the second cylinder reports for duty as well, but the engine isn't happy yet. I knock the chokes off and prevent the engine dieing by giving it some throttle (running these old twins over-rich washes the oil off the cylinder walls - not good). Once it sounds healthier I slowly close the throttle.... and it ticks over, if a tad raggedly.
Helmet and gloves on, and away we go, gently, the engine still missing and hesitant for the first few hundred yards. Then it gets happier. By the time I've fuelled up and got a few miles under the wheels she's in her element - pulling hard, pulling smoothly and evenly with a nice steady engine beat. Round the back of Alderley, up Artist's Lane over the Edge, back down into the village with its stop / start traffic which is always a test for the Bonnie. But god it's cold! My hands are turning to ice, my legs despite the heavy protective trousers are getting well chilled.
Twenty miles later I'm home again. I put the bike on the side stand, remove helmet and gloves, and rev the engine a few times. It picks up immediately, with the usual rattles and clatters but no noises that shouldn't be there. Not a sign of smoke of any colour from the twin exhausts, either on revving up, over-run, or tick over. So I switch off.
She sits in the garage again but no longer the cold lifeless lump she was an hour ago. She emits that lovely smell of hot oil and petrol, tinking and clinking as she cools. But after this post-winter post big-freeze resurrection, I know that next time she'll burst into life far more readily. Can't wait!