Japan Meets Britain...

This is where I was kinda coming from:

1966 Triumph Bonneville

1970 Norton Commando

BSA Spitfire

Royal Enfield Interceptor
Just saw the bike today -- everything should be buttoned up this week, and then the testing will begin! Just in time too, as now the weather is starting to get nicer here in Maryland.
Road testing starts on Tuesday. The 'new' tank is being fixed because of a pinhole, so we put the old tank back on temporarily for the road testing.

I'll let you know how a 358cc, 5-speed transmissioned SuperHawk is soon!
Just came back from a day of road testing. There are still some things to do, but this is what we've found out thus far:

The NOVA 5 speed transmission is awesome. The shifting is so effortless and spot-on, and locating neutral is finally a cinch. No more false neutrals, and oftentimes when I thought I was in 3rd gear, I was really in 2nd. 70mph in 3rd gear was a revelation, and I am very glad I chose this transmission option. Definitely worth the effort.

I did about 6 hot runs today, and John's determined that the bike is running lean. We started with 150 mains (what were already in the carbs before all the work was done), and then went to 170's, and then 190's, and the plugs were still light. At full throttle the bike got up to about 95mph (indicated) and just sat there (at about 7500rpm indicated). Smooth acceleration throughout the entire range, but John's going to try 220 mains and ride it himself and see what happens.

The bike might also be having a problem with the starter motor clutch (don't know if that's the proper name for it), but sometimes when we tried the starter it would just spin and not engage. John's going to look into that.

Other than that, it's interesting to see how these three different procedures (big bore kit, head work, 5 speed transmission) seem to work pretty well together. Hopefully nailing down the jetting won't be too much of a problem. The welder has that new engine side cover, and hopefully I'll bring the finished product to the powder coater next week. Lee should have the gas tank done by the end of this week. Stay tuned for more excitement!

The current side cover -- the 'new' one will eliminate those two plugged holes and smooth that entire area out.

The test pilot!
The old tank is presently on the bike while the new tank is being fixed.
More updates -- additional road testing will happen tomorrow (Friday). Two of the three springs in the starter motor clutch thingy (behind the rotor) were compressed, so he replaced them with gun springs, of all things(!), and it's now fine. Turns out the float in the right carb had a pinhole in it and was full of fuel, so that has been replaced with a good used one. John has additional jets now, so hopefully some combination or other will finally work and we can hit 130mph at full throttle. The engine side cover has been welded, and that will be going to the powder coater next week.

Think that's about it for now!
More road testing this morning....

I did three more hot runs, and we tried 220's, 230's and 250's. Plug colour is looking really good now (with the 250 mains), and I hit 105mph @ 8300rpm. John's going to get 260's, 270's and 300's and we're going to do one more set of runs. As well, we might change the rear sprocket from the current 29 tooth to 30 tooth.

We're really close!

All the rest of the parts have shown up -- new rear and front sprockets (520 chain), new Tsubaki 520 chain, a box of NGK D8HA's and additional Amal jets.

We should be road testing either Thursday or Friday. Supposed to be sunny and 70 on Friday, so that might be the best day. I want to have this wrapped up this week!

Here's the new side cover (pinholes and all!) with those two holes and that one grease fitting eliminated. I'm going to the powder coater this morning and we'll see what they say.
Amazing the things you can get done when you can't sleep....

Well I just finished sanding the JB Weld on that new side cover. The powder coater suggested using JB Weld to fix those pinholes, and it seems to have done the trick. The bad news is that I'm going to have to get everything else powder coated (left cover, both starter motor covers) to match, which I wasn't planning on doing. Hmm...maybe this time in a nice sparkly chartreuse???

Today is also the big road test day, and the weather is supposed to be sunny and in the 70's. New 520 chain, 32 tooth rear sprocket to start, new front 15 tooth 520 sprocket, new collection of jets, and hopefully we should nail it today.

Hopefully by the end of next week the bike should be all buttoned up - let's hope!
Just came back from the road testing, and I think we're done. Unlike the last time, with temperatures in the 40's, today was in the low 70's, and I'm sure played a role in the final jetting numbers.

We ended up with 240 mains, and lowered the needles to the middle position, and it runs smooth as silk. I could redline it in every gear except 5th (2nd gear at redline was almost 60mph). As well, we had the 32 rear sprocket on there, and I think we're going to put the 30 on instead and be done with it. The bike now seems to ride like a 550, though John told me that it sounded more like his 750 Triumph as I tore out of his place on one of the runs.

The top speed actually dropped to about 95mph from the 105mph on the colder day, so this is probably about as good as we're going to get. Doesn't really matter too much, as I normally never ride at that kind of speed.

So besides putting the 30 tooth rear sprocket on, the only things left to do is the powder coating, and putting the new tank back on. Hopefully all that should be done by the end of next week.
Here is the deal with going with a smaller rear sprocket (and believe me, I was confused too): Right now I have a ton of bottom end, so I think I can sacrifice some of it to benefit the top (and I think I could actually go beyond redline in gears 1-4 with the 32 sprocket). As well, I won't be taking the bike to its limits in RPMS all the time. I'll probably get better gas mileage with the smaller sprocket, as well as less vibration (easier on me, as well as things on the bike). I don't think that 5th will become like an overdrive, but I don't think I need to be revving at 6500rpm all the time when I'm cruising at highway speeds.

We'll see, of course, how the 30 ultimately does next week when we do the final round of road testing, but I think it will be a nice compromise between low end grunt, highway comfort, vibration, as fuel mileage.
I think you will encounter lots of work with the gearbox going that way. I spend most of my time in topgear, having to work the gearbox for hills, winds etc. would make me want to go up a notch on the rear.
Here again, we'll see when I test it out next week. If I decide to go back to the 32 because of issues on hills, then we do have that option.
Well I think we're done for now -- I did about 10 plug chops and almost 180 miles yesterday, and I think it's running about as good as it's going to get, but we're still puzzled by something.....

Final jetting is 250 mains, and the needle in the middle position. No hesitation, no 'nosing over', and plugs look good. Yesterday's temperature was in the mid-50's.

Here's the puzzling thing -- the bike tops out at 92mph (confirmed with a car speedo). 92mph, and the rpms are somewhere in the 7000's (indicated). So why does it redline in gears 1-4, and only manages to get to the mid-7000's in 5th? The current gearing is stock (15/30), and John and I both believe that this bike is capable of 110mph, but it just stops at 92mph. We checked the gas flow and it's totally fine. The K&N filters look good, but I am willing to try it without the filters on another run to see if that makes a difference. Of course, I'm rarely (if ever) going to ride at that speed for my normal riding, but it still is a bit of a mystery as to why we're only coming up with that top speed. On the colder day when I did the testing, I hit 105mph at about 8300rpm, and that was with the 29 rear sprocket. So I dunno...I wonder what the top speed of a stock CB350 or 360 was?

So right now I'm going to put some miles on the bike, do a few more plug chops on my own, and check the K&N filters. I might just wash and oil them to see if that makes any difference, but they look okay as they currently are.

Here are a couple of shots of the 'new' side cover on the bike -- this new look is going to take a bit of getting used to, but it sure is a heck of a lot cleaner without that kickstart lever, and I'm glad we went ahead and did the work on it to cover up those holes. Looks much more 'factory' to me than if we just plugged the holes with rubber. The cover still does have a few pinholes, but you really have to stick your face down there to notice them, and even at that they're really not a big deal.



Final adjustments...
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