Featured One More 1977 Bonny Rebuild

Discussion in 'Builds & Projects' started by Iron, Feb 23, 2021.

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  1. Iron

    Iron Guest

    Just, sort of, finished this off. Last year I was looking for something as a sort of project after I'd used it as a runabout for the summer. So having a scout about I settled on an advertised Bonny from a, I think, quite reputable dealership. They sell rebuilt vintage bikes so I thought they'd be pretty good to have a chat with, ask them how the bike was, seeing as they have some experience with these sort of machines and they could sort delivery etc etc. All was well.

    So, any old end up, I paid and they delivered, luvly. Had a quick look at it but as I'd already sorted insurance on went the helmet and off I bombed. Got about a mile and kaput, bollox, right in the middle of the traffic as well. Pushed to side of road, had a quick look, minimum amount of petrol, kick started ok, bombed off to garage for fuel. 500 yards, stalled, double bollox. Started again, arrived at garage, filled with nice new petrol. Off up the hill back home, FFS stopped again, ended up pushing home....

    Another project then. I could've, and maybe should've, told them to come take it back. But I wanted a project, this would just simply jump the queue. Which is why the Amen framed chopper has been waiting in the corner.

    For those of you who are considering a bit of a project. I can't tell you how much fun it is to do on these machines. They are relatively cheap, easy to work on, there are a few special tools you need, but overall there's no complicated electric wizardry stuff going on and there's plenty of help and spares available. It's not really that expensive either, when you compare to newer machines or even the likes of older Harleys etc. And they are better, miles better.

    My advice is to go buy one, get those spanners out and enjoy climbing into them. I'm not gonna run you through the whole rebuild process on this one (as I haven't got all the photos) but I will list the things I ended up having to sort.

    Just kicked it over this morning, it kicked me back first, then second kick it started, vroom, vrooooom

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  2. Iron

    Iron Guest

    This is the sort of thing you'll have to undertake when climbing into one of these. Don't let this put you off, it's really enjoyable, keeps you off the streets (I'm not let out after dark anyway) and you have something you did yourself at the end. The street cred climbs significantly as well. Right, the notes I made in my little book:

    Oil leak when running from primary case
    Oil is new but frame oil cover plate has been stuck on with layers of three bond (looks newly done) so can't get off
    Points cable is actually a 3 core electric household cable
    Drive chain rusty and worn
    Seat pan not bolted up
    Oil drain plug only finger tight
    Engine plates held on with wrong bolts, some only held on with one or two threads
    Right footrest loose
    Clutch cable cover split
    Engine bolts worn by loose chain - had to cut off as nylok worn away
    Rear brake nut only finger tight
    Mole grips had been used on head bolts to tighten as wrong sized allen keys had been used

    This is the first page only - there's another 7 or 8 pages of issues that I found as I disassembled. And the issues got worse. Here's some pics

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  3. Iron

    Iron Guest

    I totally rebuilt the engine (you really need to check the sludge trap) even though a receipt was included in the sale showing £2500 had been spent with some other service company rebuilding the engine not long ago. And again (I've found this before on engines that were supposedly done) the work wasn't done well. Previous rebuilders seem to reuse stuff that shouldn't be. Nuts that have been hammered, tab washers reused again and again, oil seals reused, old hermygotight not cleaned off and stuff not tightened. I even found a sludge trap plug loose once.
    I bought new standard barrels and pistons as the existing ones had been welded and weren't in a good shape. The rear brake cylinder had to be renewed as I couldn't get it apart to service (even with the grub screw out). Pushrods were wank as they'd actually come off of the ends and marked up the covers.
    Lots of parts had been plastic coated, the plastic coating had been applied over bolt heads even on the tappet blocks.
    And there's the usual grime over everything.

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  4. Iron

    Iron Guest

    On and on the list goes, there's even notes in my book that say "bloody hell!!!!" and "REALLY tight!" and lots of "FFS"

    A couple of things to remember though - these machines are very old, they've been used very well, done a lots of things and then have probably been left in a garage for years unused.
    Remember also that when we were teenagers bombing around on these - we never had any special tools, we got these things running using a pair of pliers and a hammer, and we never had the money for tab washers or new spares. We used what we had. And got caught speeding on our way to the pub for a fight.

    Go buy one, get stuck in, and enjoy. You never know, I might meet you on that bench with my thermos and sandwiches and we can take the piss out of each other. :grinning:

    PS, by the way what size tyre can I get on the 2.15 rear rim without it either falling off or hitting the chain?
     
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  5. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
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    Nothing beats rectifying years of bodging old customers/dealers work lol
     
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  6. Iron

    Iron Guest

    #6 Iron, Feb 23, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 23, 2021
    Agreed Darkman. And, I suppose, for those of you wondering whether to buy from a dealership (cause you have some comeback - yeah right) or an individual seller, what do you want it for?

    As Hugh Mackie (The Motorcycle Whisperer) of Sixth Street Specials says "The closer you can get these machines to standard, the better they will be." cause that's how they were designed and the Triumph designers knew a LOT more than we do on how Triumphs work.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/25/style/motorcycles-sixth-street-specials.html

    A Note: I'm jealous of all you Shermans, I'd be buying everything up in his shop if I lived there - go look him up on facebook. If you visit because you live close, give him my regards. That's assuming he's still open.
     
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  7. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
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    Whilst i still admire some of the chops n bobbers i'm totally standard/close to factory as poss today, guess its having done it all in the past and now its another quest i'm on before i'm to old lol.
     
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  8. Iron

    Iron Guest

    I'm still not enamoured with the back tyre width, I'd like something a bit wider. It has the really nice Akront shouldered alloy rims, the rear is a 2.15 rim with a 4.10H18 Dunlop TT100 Roadmaster tyre. The front is a 1.85 rim with a 4.10H19 on it. So the front looks pretty but the rear looks really skinny.

    I know the handling will be better with the tyres it's intended to have but I'm a high heels sort of bloke cause I like the look of em. So widest is bestest in tyres with my eyes. And I don't fly around the bends these days anyway.

    I'm thinking I'd get away with a 110 or even a 120 width tyre on the back. Assuming the wheel has been built with the correct offset has anyone tried these tyre widths on a 2.15 rim with the standard sprocket and swingarm?
     
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  9. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

    Oct 26, 2015
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    No idea on other options but 350 19 front and 400 18 K70's look ok on standard rims and were original fit on competition bikes back then.

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  10. Iron

    Iron Guest

    Yep, yours is a beauty, especially with those TT pipes, and the tyres look good from that angle. The tyres on the T140 are even wider than yours at 4.10s but the back still looks awful skinny. Did we get away with 4.75 or even 5.10s back in those tearabout days and we even ended up with chain marks on the tyres? I can't bloody remember ffs :neutral:
    Maybe I should leave well alone lol :mask:
     
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  11. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    Wow, 7 or 8 pages of issues, Iron? You are an inspiration! But for me the inspiration is to NOT do something like this! ;):p In the meantime, however, I will thoroughly reading about and seeing photos of what you're doing with this lovely but in need of TLC Bonnie. :)

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  12. darkman

    darkman Crème de la Crème

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    One thought i had was have a look on the oval flat track sites as they use bigger tyres :)
     
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  13. Iron

    Iron Guest

    #13 Iron, Feb 24, 2021
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2021
    Sandi - crushed, I'm crushed. I know mine are not as shiny as Darkman's but the photo shows it after all the TLC has been thrown at it. Crushed I am, going for a lay down and a small cry :sob: But thank you mumble mumble.
    There's a nice double tail light, a nice small bates headlight, a Harley ignition switch mounted on the frame under the battery, nice old style side panels, ally bellmouths (velocity stacks), slimmer seat, luvly painted export tank, new spirit bell, total re wire, akront ally rims, new barrels and pistons, and...and... a new sludge trap plug, mumble mumble...was quite funny though :)
     
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  14. Iron

    Iron Guest

    Yes, good shout, when we're allowed out I'll pop along to have a chat with Steve Hillary at Redmax Speed Shop. He'll be the one that knows all on that front. Quite fancy one of his alloy Trackmaster tanks as well - a bit pricey at 600 notes but I wouldn't want to go for a glass fibre one these days with all that Ethanol slopping about in there.
     
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  15. Helmut Visor

    Helmut Visor Only dead fish go with the flow
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    Think you read it wrong mate, I think @Sandi T is saying it's too big a project for her with all those pages of issues not that you're doing a bad job....quite the opposite. I might be putting words in her mouth but that's how I read it ;)
     
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  16. Sandi T

    Sandi T It's ride o'clock somewhere!
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    That face palm emoji was for me and not you, @Iron. Far be it from me to willfully crush anyone's dreams....well, when it comes to motorcycles at least! ;):joy: I think your build is awesome! @Helmut Visor is absolutely correct when he posted the following:

    "Think you read it wrong mate, I think @Sandi T is saying it's too big a project for her with all those pages of issues not that you're doing a bad job....quite the opposite. I might be putting words in her mouth but that's how I read it". ;)

    So dry those tears, Iron, and get your a*se back to work on that bike. :kissing_heart:
     
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  17. Iron

    Iron Guest

    Sorry gang....I've said it before and I'll say it again, I am very old you know. It's the headaches, knee aches, back aches and, as you know, inside every old person is a younger person wondering what the fuck happened. :no_mouth:
     
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  18. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
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    carlton in lindrick
    Interesting read and here’s to you enjoying it now you’ve sorted the manky work of others. Autumn last year I bought a very original ‘77 KZ650 from a very established Classic Dealer. (better add it’s keeping my TTR company before the Religious Police send me for correction). I fully expected it to have some project elements at 43 years old however the dealer went to great pains to point out the fresh, but not obligatory MOT and the 2 page check list with rows of ticks and glowing “test ride” report. Before I rode it (Lockdown 2) I started my own thorough clean, check & adjust process to find a completely seized swinging arm, meaning no rear suspension, dodgy electrics left over from a previous regulator failure & repair with a part melted fuse box, non functioning brake light, headlight adjusted for right side driving, HT leads falling out of coils and very grotty rear brake fluid. All now sorted with plenty of just putting small stuff right, like the bent side stand ( “they all lean like that sir” - I kid you not) and I’ve loved every minute. But why?
     
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  19. Iron

    Iron Guest

    Julian, yes I think the point is that these machines whether from a dealer or bought privately will need some work. If you want a well sorted one then you are going to have to pay well sorted money. There's quite a few vintage bikes on ebay North of 20 Grand and well North of it as well. Those would probably be ok for the display cabinet and riding like they were new.
    So for us (well me at least) non lottery winners a pretty good tool chest is required along with some good mates (the members on here are worth their weight) to lend a helping hand.
    I think my new motto will be "They all lean like that sir" I had one that would just stand very vertical - if it was touched it fell over - cause the stand bracket was welded on incorrectly so the stand had to be shortened. I was told "I'll put a new stronger spring on that for you".
    I don't really ride that much these days. I like the building/working on em more. When the insurance ask how many miles a year I do, I ask if they could do it in yards (and honestly, I did less than 100 miles for the whole year before lockdown on all of my bikes combined).
    Jeez, I gotta get out more :(
     
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  20. JULIAN WW

    JULIAN WW Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2019
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    carlton in lindrick
    I think you have your head in the right place. But I would recommend you ride a few more yards, it’s still a lot of fun. He actually told me the American models “ lean like that” because they park on the other side of the street to us and so the camber is different. I was so busy trying to programme this new motorcycling phenomenon in my old bikers head I didn’t appreciate it was total bollocks until I was driving away! No fool like an old fool eh?
     
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