Thursday, 11 July 2013

Bye bye Bonnie

I've owned her for about four years, and today she left Wilmslow for her new home in Cornwall. JLF 435V is a 1979 Triumph Bonneville T140D, a Meriden built machine from the later days of the workers' co-operative. By 1979, they'd got the quality right (it had gone downhill since about ten years before). That was evident in the fault-free ownership I have enjoyed - unusual in British classic bikes.

The Bonnie enjoys her last evening in the Wilmslow garage. In the box on the seat are the original indicators, and some spares. In the envelope is the documentation.

So why is she going? I have some arthritis in my right knee so kicking a big bike into life is not recommended. These are kick-start bikes, with no electric start facility.

High summer, as the Bonnie awaits the arrival of the courier

The van arrives

She's tied down ready for the long journey south

 A final farewell. I hope she's going to a good home.

 With these old classics, one isn't so much an 'owner', more a 'custodian'. I am satisfied that JLF 435V is a better bike now than she was when she came into my care. Then, the fork seals leaked oil, and the speedometer and rev counter were transposed, the speedo being on the left when it should be on the right. This resulted in the mileage trip being inoperable as only the right hand instrument mounting had the facility for that. And there was an unexplained 'odd noise' on the over-run when warm. That turned out to be the plastic balance tube between the carburetters collapsing under suction when hot and the air going through it making a 'squeaky' noise! I cured that with a much tougher bit of tube!

I stripped and rebuilt the forks, adding gaiters which both improved the looks and give protection to the lovely chrome fork stanchions. Then I re-installed the instruments in their correct mountings, which involved replacing the non-original too-short speedometer drive cable, and the speedometer drive unit from the rear wheel. I also fitted the correct rear rack. These are minor changes, but they are in the right direction.

So now there's a space in the garage - and a vacancy in the fleet. But not for long! All being well, both will be filled tomorrow. Watch this space!


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