Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Tool for the Tool Chest

As I gain mechanical experience, I have been wanting to venture into more technical aspects of restoration and maintenance. One thing I really want to conquer is timing the engine. Timing is as much art as it is mechanics. The principles are fairly straight forward but I suspect a novice like myself could take a good running engine and turn it into a disaster in short order. I have decided not to launch into this unprepared and have been studying several period books as well as my Norton manual. The manuals provide the settings but not much information about the process. Clearly, this lack of information harkens to an era in which it was assumed one knew how to tune one's bike or there was a specialist nearby to help. Definitely not the case for me deep in Texas. For the novice classic motorcyclist however this assumption is an anachronism that ironically is at the root of the fun of the hobby. Learning to be self-sufficient and  to develop mechanical skills is indispensable to one's enjoyment.

I recently acquired two items necessary for this technical adventure. First is the timing degree wheel. I purchased this reproduction Castrol wheel mostly out of nostalgia. It helps sometimes to look the part.

The other interesting tool I acquired is a modified timing chest cover. I don't like to see the destruction of classic motorcycle parts but in this case the ends justify the means. Turns out that the unsupported halftime pinion could be damaged during the timing process. The cutout timing cover allows support of that pinion while permitting access to the gears.

Now that I am equipped there's little excuse not to get on with it!

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