Featured Hendrix And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

Discussion in 'Triumph General Discussion' started by JULIAN WW, Dec 30, 2021.

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  1. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    191
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    In Robert Pirsig's original masterpiece, the philosophical approach to motorcycle maintenance is truly enlightening. The intriguing tale of his mental breakdown and concerns for his son's future is fascinating. But I fail at real comprehension of Zen Philosophy and admit to skipping, at every attempt, the many pages so devoted. I'm more a Haynes Manual, Owners Handbook and Motorcycle Mechanics Magazine devotee. So my own developed approach is the combination of Music & Read The Instructions.
    It's wet out there and, whilst I can be content riding in the rain, even enjoy the experience still, the roads are awash with grit, mud and scatterings of asphalt from badly deteriorating roads. Not eager enough to give any of my bikes a pasting just at the moment, I'm staying in.
    So typically, on dark, sodden winter days I satisfy the inner needs by playing rock tunes on my Gretsch and maintaining machines, mostly wheeled transport and the occasional clock. The clocks "occasionally" work after I've fettled them, however applying music doesn't make them tell the time any more reliably or accurately. Thankfully I am generally more successful with motorcycles!
    The Thruxton R has been relocated to the Maintenance Shed. A recent purchase is the hydraulic, height adjustable bench to have the bike on and it's a wonderful thing. The hand-cranked Sealey Scissor Stand provides a safe lift/support for the bike whilst it's on the bench, especially with the TTR being devoid of a centre stand.
    Hey Joe and the oil & filter are done for another year. Castrol Power 1 Racing and a genuine Triumph filter and sump plug washer. The red colour was still evident in the oil I drained, having only added a few thousand miles on the Triumph's clock in 2021. Probably wasting money chucking away such quality, fully synthetic lube after completing far less work than it is capable of. Jimi might have burnt the whole bike and taken a new one from the maker but I don't have an audience so no lighter fluid required.
    The serious task to be completed was a change of coolant. I confess it was the very liquid that entered the cooling system prior to delivery to the first owner (not I) and hence it getting on for 5 years old. I've owned the bike for 3 years and only added half a cupful as a top-up in all that time. It was overdue but I don't think any real harm has been done. A few more hours of practice in the music room whilst the old, dishwater coloured fluid drained from the detached, bottom radiator hose. Rock 'n' Roll folklore has it that Wind Cries Mary, which I'm doing my best to perform, unsuccessfully, fumble free was composed after Jimi had a bust-up with his girlfriend over lumpy mash-potato. I'm considering the Thruxton's old coolant might have lumps in it.
    Anyway the deep thinking must be applied to the methodology of coolant replacement. The Haynes bible has been read and left open at the appropriate chapter although there is always a good amount of jumping about the pages in different sections. And you can be sure that the best photo of disconnecting the fuel watsit is in the chapter covering engine removal. Voodoo Chile or Voodoo Child?
    There is good instruction and advice elsewhere in this forum (search Coolant) and YouTube videos of which there is good and not so......
    I always seem to face a hurdle with some item that everyone else gives little mention to or just glosses over. I saved taking pictures until I was on the return journey and this abbreviated record is just to support anyone taking their own approach to a coolant change on a similar Triumph. There is no suggestion that you will be equipped to better avoid serious disagreement with a partner over something seemingly trivial. Then again you might be inspired to make music!
    The bike is a 2016 Thruxton 1200R fitted with Triumph's cockpit fairing. To drain the coolant it is necessary to detach the hose where it connects to the bottom of the radiator. I found it okay to release (expand) the hose clip with pliers and slide it down the hose. Same on reassembly. Referring to the photo's in sequence:
    IMG_0502.JPG
    1.Left side panel removed - the outer (closest in the photo) rubber hose must be disconnected. This the tank breather hose which is held in place under the left side of the tank by steel tangs.
    IMG_0495.JPG
    IMG_0496.JPG

    2.Cloths positioned to protect the tank during removal & replacement. The tank is fixed to the frame by one horizontal bolt and nut at the rear (Seat removed) and located on 2 rubber mounts, either side of the top frame spine at the front. The front indicators are each fastened to the underside of the petrol tank with 2 screws. The sides of the fairing are pushed onto rubber grommets in the indicator brackets so these were also pulled apart and the indicators moved out of the way. The petrol tank can be eased back on its rubber mounts then lifted and propped up at the rear. In this position the 2 electrical connections and 1 fuel hose connection can be undone.
    IMG_0498.JPG
    4.The two electrical connectors are released from small brackets by pushing them upwards.
    IMG_0497.JPG
    5.To unplug each one use a small screwdriver to push in the tiny catch, at the front, then pull apart. The 2 connectors are different and will not fit back together if you mix them up.
    IMG_0499.JPG
    6. The fuel hose proved to be awkward. The clip (backwards facing C shape) must be pulled towards the right (blue tape) as shown in this photo, which gives access to the square buttons, front and rear. Using thumb & finger both buttons need pushing in (guitar playing fingers) before pulling the complete hose & connection up and off. The hose incorporates a self-closing valve so there should be no more than a drip or two of petrol but have some rag handy. Reverse process for reinstallation but keep those buttons pressed in until the connector is pushed fully down. The clip will not slide back into position and, more importantly, the connection will not be secure unless it is correctly pushed home.
    IMG_0501.JPG
    7.The photo shows the connection and clip in its fully fitted position.
    8. With the disconnecting work completed, prop is removed and the tank held almost horizontal while pulling it gently back of it's rubber mounts. Put it somewhere so you don't kick it or drop spanners on it. The radiator cap is revealed. With the bottom hose disconnected I flushed water through the radiator several times.
    9. 4 screws to remove the alloy cover of the expansion tank. I used a syringe to empty it. 2 nuts hold the expansion tank in place but you only need to remove it to wash it out. The breather hose can be left connected at the top but look for where it is routed behind the lower frame rail. The bottom hose will need to be disconnected to remove the tank and it has a clip.
    IMG_0489.JPG
    10. My coolant of choice.
    IMG_0488.JPG
    IMG_0487.JPG

    11. I used the syringe to fill the radiator and also to the correct level in the expansion tank. The radiator must be be filled slowly to prevent air locks. It is also recommended to lift the rear of the bike to position the radiator filler as high as possible relative to the rest of the system. Using the syringe avoided spillage and kept things slow and steady, with lots of squeezing of the bottom hose ( which you remembered to re-attach) at regular intervals. Don't forget to put the radiator cap back on.
    12. Even with brightly coloured coolant, checking the expansion tank level without removing the cover requires a special kind of eyesight. After the first ride I will remove the petrol tank and check the radiator level.
    The foregoing was My Experience.
     
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  2. Octoberon

    Octoberon Elite Member
    Subscriber

    Jul 2, 2020
    1,567
    800
    Peak District, Yorkshire
    Excellent post. Chapeau, sir.
     
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  3. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    191
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Cheers.
     
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  4. Steve O'Connor

    Mar 9, 2021
    46
    18
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Great post, on a side note one of my high school friends was an army brat living in California and they let the schools out to go to the Monterrey Pop Festival and he saw the Hendrix performance where he lit up the strat.
     
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  5. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    191
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Appreciate the reply. I admit I never got to see him live. I don’t suppose you can separate the music from the performance with Hendrix but my emotions were torn by the sight of an instrument being tortured. Same with the Who.
     
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  6. Steve O'Connor

    Mar 9, 2021
    46
    18
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    #6 Steve O'Connor, Jan 4, 2022
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2022
    I never got to see him either. Dweezil Zappa owns the Monterrey Strat and you can see it on youtube in a Norm's Guitars video.
     
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  7. Adie P

    Adie P Crème de la Crème

    Jul 7, 2018
    3,327
    1,000
    MID DEVON
    Damn! It's years since I've heard that! Great track, great artist - I have most of his stuff on vinyl and cd and saw him live at Bristol Colston Hall (I think) many, many years ago. Great singer/songwriter.

    Thanks for pulling that one out of the faded memory juke box. :D
     
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  8. Steve O'Connor

    Mar 9, 2021
    46
    18
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    He's from Indy even though he is in Nashville now. Raised my Daughter alone from about age 11 and we are driving somewhere when that song comes on and she asks me, "Dad, what's he mean, "They all got wet when he smashed that thing?" I changed the subject.
     
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  9. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
    191
    93
    carlton in lindrick
    Says it well. A tear falls!
     
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