Spring Triumphant

Click to Enlarge - pair of Triumph 500s from a 1970 sales brochure

Click to enlarge

One of the folks at work just bought a new Harley V-Rod, another has a new Harley on order … and the weather has been very nice lately.
I’d ignored the bike as I still need to get it through inspection and winter caught up to me before I finished that task last year. But … Its time!

So after a lot of yard work this weekend, I rolled the bike out of storage, tickled the Amal with my thumb, and gave a few solid kicks – nada. Didn’t sound like it even fired, so I hopped off and flipped the headlight on, watching the ammeter for any signs of life. (Glad I made a point when I wired the bike to install an ammeter, even if its not "authentic" for that year, its a handy tool!)Nothing. Battery must have run down during the winter. Rolled it up to the house, and checked it with a voltmeter – 7.5volts … I flipped up the seat, connected a trickle charger, and left it alone for two days.

Yesterday after work I disconnected the charger and checked the voltage again … 13.5 – great! Rolled it outside, tickled it, and gave it a kick. Fired up and died.

Did that little ritual a few times and as it warmed up, it ran longer and longer. I had to feather the throttle to keep it going, but finally it was running on its own, tho a bit uneven. Put my hands at the end of the pipes and could feel the right cylinder was missing occasionally. Guess I ought to install a new set of points – or at least file the surface a bit – maybe that will help.

But I couldn’t resist any longer. Went inside and swapped my shorts for a pair of jeans. Grabbed my helmet and papers, and my cellphone, and headed back outside.

Started it up again – first kick, now that it was warmed up, so I flipped the kickstand back and rode it through the gate and up the driveway … Yeehah!

Yes, I know it was just a short ride around the neighborhood, and I know I have work to do yet … but it was such a rush of energy just riding it around, knowing I’d rescued it from a rusty fate …