|Date: Sat, 1 Aug 1998
A little TITANic humor
Are you ready for this one, faithful readers? I fixed it, I fixed it, I fixed it, I FIXED IT! (well sort of) All I had to work with was a scabby old parts bike of unknown provenance... DON'T BUY A BIKE FROM A TEENAGE SHADE TREE MECHANIC! Can you say butchered nuts, stripped threads, wrong
bolts too long punching holes through cases, ordinary motor oil in the injection system, broken fins (of course)... yes and all the rest too.
SH*T! I shat to myself, now I'm totally fornicated, no money (natch) so somethings gotta be done. Well the good news and the only good news is that the
barrels were 10 over and just done judging by the shiny pistons and hone marks BUT three head bolts were stripped (you had to ask, I used epoxy putty) and
figured that'll hold while I get my originals overbored and back on right quick. If I take it easy it'll hold for riding to work.
Howsomever after working non-stop from 7am till 5pm, fixing one thingummy-up after another, the bloody engine raced like hell, backfired on the left
cylinder (the one that started all this) which is also the one with 3 out of 4 stripped headbolts (but dont forget theres four barrel bolts too) so how did I get it to
hold? Simple, I overtightened the barrel bolts (very very carefully) epoxied the headbolts down and tightened them as much as I dared then when the epoxy set
, I backed off the barrel bolts to transfer the load back equally onto all eight. Deep breath, maximum rpm for 3 minutes, not a leak! Phew!!
Unfortunately the dadblasted left carb spewed gas everywhere AND I already fixed the bastard twice SO thats where all the problems came from... okay
no prob, set the float height, clean out jets, does it WORSE. Then I discover the float shaft is ever so slightly bent, hence the leaks and floods. Replace with
carb from other bike which looks like hell (the little bastard spray painted everything flat black including inside the carbs) blow out dead tarantulas and the odd tropical rain forest, shit it'll have to do.
Whang off down the road for cautious test ride BAZOOOOOW! WHAY HAY HAY (well fairly cautious) cor luv a duck, where'd all that horsepower
come from but remember, we're on a wing and a prayer here, right after which cautionary thought I downshift theresa godawful keeeraaang sound as the chain
jumps the sprocket. What? WHAT?!! The bloody thing is brand new what the hell is going on..
It must have been too long to start with so I figure whip off a link and rejoin. HA HA it took me two hours to grind that bastard off, talk about hard and
tough. There is NO way that thing could break without warning, still I am a bit worried about the apparent wear especially as I lube its little balls off. So the
poor dear old girl has been patched up once again BUT I have good news. I have thanks to the VJMC list discovered a place in Florida that does awesome
T500 engine rebuilds, I think I could live with 100bhp and a top speed of 145 (see I agree with the General, 150 is outrageous) but seriously though just a
decent spread of power and a bit more top end, enough to be able to eat the occasional boy racer - say 120 top - without losing her gorgeous low down
torque. Guy has built some tasty cafe racers, wish I could spring for the full treatment but... well... she's kinda like a part of me, warts and all and you know I
really think in my heart of hearts I love her just the way she is - she's MINE.
Okay so I'm feeling pretty triumphant right now but its been a long, long day and though I didnt lose my temper I was pretty cheesed off at times because the
non stop string of hassles was starting to make me wonder if I'm incompetent and should just buy a car and give up. Like, it seemed as if one bolt after another
broke off and had to be drilled out, no sooner was one problem fixed than another cropped up and as for the botches I've done so many now that even I cant
remember. Its not the disappointment at finding problems that gets you down so much as when you do it right and it still wont go, thats a real bummer. Usually
when I sling stuff together in a hurry I have better luck than when I try to do it by the book.
No one ever steals bikes like that! No! No! Listen to start it, turn the ignition OFF - I dunno, a short or something - now hold the choke lever down with
your left hand and kick it with your right foot, you'll get the hang of it, as soon as she starts turn the ignition quick to ON, rev it and let go of the choke. NO!
NO! Don't put it in gear.. DAMN now you'll have to do the startup ritual again only now leave the ignition ON and as soon as she starts turn it to OFF - I
dunno there's a short somewhere - good, good, now listen if there's a cop following you and you have to signal, just touch the back brake enough to put the
light on, turn the lights off and operate the flashers, don't try and use the flashers when the headlights on it'll blow the main fuse, except there isnt one, so dont
touch that screwdriver under the sidecover - I dunno maybe it's a short - oh yeah and when you have to park, turn the gas taps off ... yeah I know but it doesnt
work see, the real gastaps are hidden under the tank, oh and if you have to gas it up be careful how you open the gascap and dont lose the tennis ball - well, its
half a tennis ball actually, well a third if you want to get technical, see that replaces the rubber thingie that rotted and acts as a spring to keep the cap closed.
Erm, I think thats it, she's a great bike dead reliable, no problems, nothing to worry about... oh yeah, except dont take the bungie cords off, alright, they hold the
seat on. What! Whaddya mean the brakes don't work? They're bloody excellent brakes man, well you've got to pull on the damn lever you know, its not yer
linked hydraulic discs, no no PULL, there see! Oh well yeah it does sometimes, just kick it, I think the cables a bit dry. What do you mean DEATHTRAP I've
been riding this thing for years man, beaten a few sportbikes too, don't make 'em like that anymore. Oh, well I was hoping you wouldnt notice that chunk of
2x4 but don't worry its a safety precaution, its got three uses really. It protects the engine if the bike falls over, it comes in useful if anyone gets stroppy but most
of all it holds the cylinder heads down...yeah, pretty high compression these old Titans.