Saturday, March 14, 2015

First Ride...In a Very Long Time

About a week ago I finally finished up the assembly of my long dormant TY. It has been almost a year since I started this project. And it was a week before I could work up the courage to start it up.

I know that the usual story is that the restorer...or mechanic works day and night to complete his masterpiece so he can see it running. In my case I procrastinated at least a week before I pushed down on the kick starter. My problem was a simple lack of confidence. When I put the engine together first time it ran poorly and it took me a month or so to figure out that I had done a very poor job of installing the seals on the crankshaft...and so the engine revved wildly when I gave it some gas. I did not know then and I still do not know now how I screwed up this relatively simple installation.

Consequently I was not convinced that I had gotten it right this second time. The very last thing that I would want to do would be to repeat the rebuild a third time. At any rate...the thing fired up perfectly on the second kick. I rode it around the back yard for a couple of minutes and then parked was time to celebrate with a couple of rum and cokes. The next day...yesterday...I went over the bike from front to back to tighten and adjust everything...then I was off for a short ride along the beach and dirt roads of my little community. Everything worked just fine!

I re-discovered that this little TY is a genuinely great bike. The little TY deserves its reputation. Even though the design pre-dates my TLR by about ten years, the TY is a significantly better bike. It is lighter and the engine is just plain amazing. It pulls easily in top gear from almost any speed. Any of the first three gears would have plenty of torque to tackle any sections that I could ride. On top of that...because of my love of bean ride is flavored with the scent of castor oil (Blendzall to be exact) I could not be happier. It was nice to get re-acquainted with my little friend.

Of course there are always more things to do. My clutch cable is worn out. It stray wires or is just stretched to a point where there is no more adjustment possible. I will either have to get a new one from my friends at TY Trials or I will shorten the one have with bits and pieces left over from making throttle cables for my Bultaco and the TLR. I have a lot of cable ends which can be put to use.

After the clutch cable, I am going to have to get after the front tire. It is at least twenty if not thirty years old. I have a nice new Dunlop trials tire ready to mount. I have been slow to undertake this project because it is a major pain in the ass. My Honda CR250 project is presently stalled  because I have mounted the rear tire three separate times and on each occasion I have managed to pinch the inner tube causing the tire to deflate immediately. Each of those three attempts to mount the rear tire took not less than two hours. That is a stiff tire. The idea os spending another six hours fighting with the front tire of the TY is not appealing.

Stay tuned more to come on the TY and the CR.