Author Topic: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned  (Read 2432 times)

Offline duTch

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #45 on: 10.02. 2019 20:49 »

 Goung back to RD's original post, if the dyamo was refurbed (or partly) and has a mechanical reg maybe that just needs a bit of a tweak- I did it to mine and made a huge difference and I'm no electrical engineer.....

 Regarding the oil no-return; apart from homeless spiders or other critters sheltering from storms, I can't help wondering if there is actually oil in the tank......I assumed there to be, but some obvious things can be easily overlooked.... *dunno*
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Started building in about 1977/8 a on average '52 A10 -built from bits 'n pieces never resto intended -maybe 'personalised'
Have a '74 850T Moto Guzzi since '92-best thing I ever bought doesn't need a kickstart 'cos it bump starts sooooooooo(mostly) easy
Australia

Offline edboy

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #46 on: 10.02. 2019 22:01 »
it sounded like rd threw in the towel.
the answers to his problems are old ones posted on the forum, but he has to see the wood from the trees when reading them. or seek assistance such as the bsa owners club.
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Offline Flashgreubon

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #47 on: 28.06. 2020 18:32 »
Hi to all,
 I resucitate this post that had stayed in my mind all this time.
 I do feel the same as RD fellow about the shortcomings of the A10 ,its probably the most irritating bike of the 60 or so  i have owned, sold or restored over the years.
 Bought cheap and in very good condition it served me well for 10000 miles or so unti she wet sumped mad and the small end bush got worn out.
I Bit the bullet and  because i always considered it as a keeper i brought it to the best A10 specialist in the UK to get the needle bearing conversion and a new pump.
When i got the bike back, (5200 pounds later) i took it for a very wet 30 miles spin around their workshop  and noticed straight away that the clutch was slipping like hell and it rattled way louder than when i brought it in, all worn out as she was.
They told me that it would settle down and that they had fitted triumph springs( against my advice as i knew that it would slip with them.)
 Any way i took the ferry back to Ireland and upon opening the door of the van a big pool of oil was looking at me on the floor.
 None of the engine bolts were tight and it sounded rattly.
 Called them and fair play they accepted my grievances and collected the bike for remedial work.
All good so far. I picked up the bike  three month later, still a rattler ,still leaking oil and she had lost its oomph...
Checking on the bill i noticed that they had substituted my perfect 356 cam for a flat one again they accepted the problem and took it backto change the cam and said they could not find anything wrong with it ant that, yes there was an intermitent rattle.
 Anyway back home and the leaks continued, i have a few vintage and veteran bikes, most of them with engines that i have completly rebuild myself over the years (from guzzi bacon slicer to V-Twin japanese sv) so i tolerate the odd weakness in the bladder department.
 Now 2years down the line from the big spend with new everything in the engine i still have an intermittent rattly bike with corresponding rattly front forks despite having rebuild them(myself with new old stock legs ,bushings,seals ,springs and  stanchions ...
 The engine is leaking mad,from the primary/gearbox seal to the breather hole behind the mag, as well as the rocker box gasket in front on top of the exhaust.
 The swing arm silent blocks have a lot of play and were overlooked when engine , gearbox and backwheel were out.
 Add a poor set of mag brushes (that they supplied) that wore in no time leaving me stranded at a rally and the next set that i fitted that dug deep in the slip ring destroying it.
The wrong washer behind the dynamo pinion so the pinion could not lock properly on the taper (another van rescue job).

 Now , you see, i had a heavy-weight Matchless for 28 years and my friend who bought it use everyday:
 i have never taken the clutch of that bike apart nor opened the forks and the AMC gearbox is a delight while the top of the engine is perfecly dry.
I recently bought and fitted a new plunger for the oil pump (a simple job) so was the fitting of new swing arm bronze bushings prior to the sale.
 Everything is straight forward with AMC, no blind bush in the gearbox, no whine in third gear,no scraping central stand, no 'they all do that, Sir.'
Now its time to decide between ebay,the sledge or a box of matches.
I have spent over £10000 on a bike thats despite been cosmetically very good and with all the right bits (nacelle, chain enclosure etc) and end up with a bike that is not enjoyable as i never know what is to go wrong next.
 My first big bike 42 years ago was an A65 and it was bullet proof.
 The blues.
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Offline Swarfcut

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #48 on: 28.06. 2020 19:41 »
 Flash... I'd say it looks as if you thought you had been dealing with the best in the business, and it is a shame they couldn't have tried just a little bit less. With your wide experience, it is a case of checking and assembling correctly yourself, not relying on people who have the constraints of time and the need to turn a profit to stay in business. If it really is time for goodbye,  eBay is the best option, save the hammer and matches.

Swarfy.
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Offline ianbsa

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #49 on: 28.06. 2020 19:45 »
Hi to all,
 I resucitate this post that had stayed in my mind all this time.
 I do feel the same as RD fellow about the shortcomings of the A10 ,its probably the most irritating bike of the 60 or so  i have owned, sold or restored over the years.
 Bought cheap and in very good condition it served me well for 10000 miles or so unti she wet sumped mad and the small end bush got worn out.
I Bit the bullet and  because i always considered it as a keeper i brought it to the best A10 specialist in the UK to get the needle bearing conversion and a new pump.
When i got the bike back, (5200 pounds later) i took it for a very wet 30 miles spin around their workshop  and noticed straight away that the clutch was slipping like hell and it rattled way louder than when i brought it in, all worn out as she was.
They told me that it would settle down and that they had fitted triumph springs( against my advice as i knew that it would slip with them.)
 Any way i took the ferry back to Ireland and upon opening the door of the van a big pool of oil was looking at me on the floor.
 None of the engine bolts were tight and it sounded rattly.
 Called them and fair play they accepted my grievances and collected the bike for remedial work.
All good so far. I picked up the bike  three month later, still a rattler ,still leaking oil and she had lost its oomph...
Checking on the bill i noticed that they had substituted my perfect 356 cam for a flat one again they accepted the problem and took it backto change the cam and said they could not find anything wrong with it ant that, yes there was an intermitent rattle.
 Anyway back home and the leaks continued, i have a few vintage and veteran bikes, most of them with engines that i have completly rebuild myself over the years (from guzzi bacon slicer to V-Twin japanese sv) so i tolerate the odd weakness in the bladder department.
 Now 2years down the line from the big spend with new everything in the engine i still have an intermittent rattly bike with corresponding rattly front forks despite having rebuild them(myself with new old stock legs ,bushings,seals ,springs and  stanchions ...
 The engine is leaking mad,from the primary/gearbox seal to the breather hole behind the mag, as well as the rocker box gasket in front on top of the exhaust.
 The swing arm silent blocks have a lot of play and were overlooked when engine , gearbox and backwheel were out.
 Add a poor set of mag brushes (that they supplied) that wore in no time leaving me stranded at a rally and the next set that i fitted that dug deep in the slip ring destroying it.
The wrong washer behind the dynamo pinion so the pinion could not lock properly on the taper (another van rescue job).

 Now , you see, i had a heavy-weight Matchless for 28 years and my friend who bought it use everyday:
 i have never taken the clutch of that bike apart nor opened the forks and the AMC gearbox is a delight while the top of the engine is perfecly dry.
I recently bought and fitted a new plunger for the oil pump (a simple job) so was the fitting of new swing arm bronze bushings prior to the sale.
 Everything is straight forward with AMC, no blind bush in the gearbox, no whine in third gear,no scraping central stand, no 'they all do that, Sir.'
Now its time to decide between ebay,the sledge or a box of matches.
I have spent over £10000 on a bike thats despite been cosmetically very good and with all the right bits (nacelle, chain enclosure etc) and end up with a bike that is not enjoyable as i never know what is to go wrong next.
 My first big bike 42 years ago was an A65 and it was bullet proof.
 The blues.


Sorry the work on your bike didn't make the cut....

Was a ticketed Renault mechanic a lifetime ago so I have some sense of this and that. Father was a toolmaker so precision this precision that as well...Clever guy built a designed wooden yacht from plans..etc. Anyway I digress.

I've just spent a few days watching as many Tube vids of "professionally restored/fixed" old twins as I can and the one thing I have taken away from it is they all rattle and clank in the most unpleasant, un-factory like way.

Whacking a few bearings in and a grind or two topped off with a glob of two pack does for my money not make a restored bike.

For that sort of cash I would expect every single moving part measured and blued with running parts hand fettled with the appropriate reamers/jigs to clearance tolerances. Worn parts built up, re-ground or sleeved....Sorry this is turning into a rant but I just feel the whole commercial restoring game almost needs some sort of regulation to stop this sort of thing.

And finally. Leaks?...Whilst I do have a nasty rattle that needs sorting my A7  does not leak a drop.....its basic mechanic-ing....  So for ur bike to come out of a pro shop with loose bolts and extra leaks is....well, best I stop before I say something I regret.
Rant over...deep breath, smile. :!




















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Online Black Sheep

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #50 on: 28.06. 2020 21:55 »
"i brought it to the best A10 specialist in the UK ". Once again a dire report. Our A10 holds oil and goes well. No expensive roller bearing conversions etc, just attention by an amateur mechanic (me) and crucially keeping things pretty standard. These bikes were sound machines when new but nowadays are only as good as the last rebuild. It's too easy to spend a heap of money on solutions that are looking for a problem.   
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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #51 on: 28.06. 2020 22:22 »
Back in the day these bikes were thrashed mercilessly by hard-up kids. Many of the bikes were bought when they were in the autumn of their lives so you would expect them to be unreliable and rattly. If my memory serves me correctly they just kept going.... and going! My mate used to thrash is A10 along the Chester to Manchester road every day, a round trip of about 65 miles and he went as fast as he could everywhere! Yet his bike and many other thrashed and abused bikes kept going and sounded OK. Even though the A10 and most other British bikes have their faults they were, in the main, decent bikes, particularly if treated with respect. In my opinion BSA didn't get the credit they deserved. I don't know many people who can significantly improve an A10 from its original spec. Many people have tried but the outcome is often disappointing. The A10 was a good all-round well balanced bike. The best ones I've had were very much original spec iron head jobs - I still have one which is my 1958 Golden Flash which I restored about 15 years ago and it rides beautifully, but I don't take it over 60 m.p.h. Speaking from experience I have come to the conclusion that nearly everything you can buy that is not original BSA makes the bike worse! There are exceptions and the following posts will, no doubt, refer to them! The more you fiddle and fettle the worse the bike gets. Pattern parts are a curse as they are rarely the same as the originals and the slightest variations seem to matter. When I restored my 1958 Golden Flash I stripped it down and rebuilt it, almost entirely with the parts I'd removed. OK, some things are unavoidable, like valve guides for instance. I think these old bikes have a 'harmony' and as soon as you start swapping bits the harmony is lost. A mate of mine sent his A65 engine to a well known firm for an assessment and they suggested it needed about £3000 spending on it because they wouldn't tolerate any wear on anything.  I have heaps of A10 stuff and a while ago I said to a mate, "there's no point having all this stuff unless I'm going to use it" so a couple of years ago I built a single seat A10 almost entirely from original stuff. Basically I hunted around the shed and garage finding the best second hand parts I could lay my hands on and built the bike, then after a few shakedown runs, rode it over 1000 miles to the Assen MotoGP and back without any hint of a problem. I confess to having a Mikuni carb on this bike but in most other respects it is a fairly standard A10. BSA did a bl**dy good job when they turned out the first A10 in 1950 and improving on it has proved difficult. One example of things that can go wrong..... New valve seats - are they at the same depth as the originals, because if they're not the springs will be under different tension and the push rod geometry and leverage will be different - add to this pattern valve springs which may or may not be the same strength as the originals and pattern cam followers which may be a fraction shorter or longer than the originals you have a whole set of issues which can turn a quiet bike into something which sounds quite horrible. ( I wrote this whilst Blacksheep was typing his post, seems like we're on the same wavelength!)
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Online berger

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #52 on: 28.06. 2020 22:32 »
well after reading all that flash I would be taking it apart and re building the lot myself, but then again I wouldn't trust others building any engine of mine. I would let the skilled engineers do the work they are qualified in and then stick it together complete without oil leaks. sounds like you need serious words with them, that's a lot of money for no result. I had problems with inferior parts a famous firm sold me and I got the impression as with most things nowadays they want your money and that's all that matters ...the gearbox leak is either running down between shaft and bush or as mine was through the ball race and down the inside of the seal and circlip groove.  edit beezermacc so true with everything that is not bsa original makes the bike worse, on the nail there.
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Offline ianbsa

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #53 on: 28.06. 2020 23:27 »
Seems we're all singing from the same sheet.

As an eg .  I've just very carefully put my clinically cleaned rocker box back together. I had a box of shafts and rockers and spent hours mating the "best to the best"..if you can call them that, then lapping in the push rods etc , but they're all worn which will clearly contribute to the noise and new parts are unobtainum.
 
I may get the shafts flame coated and ground I may not, which would still only be a half measure...But its an easy job to get the box off if I feel it needs doing at a later date.

But its a totally different thing to be throwing down thousands to a guy in a shop who says he's gonna make ur bike like new again but does nout to parts which are worn and rattly just because it'll eat into his bottom line...Nothing worse than a shiny bike that sounds like a bag of nails.

I've just re -read the post.  To change a cam is a full strip....Really, they took it back and did a second full strip?...mmm

And I think ur dead right Beezermac re harmony. These engines were designed by pretty clever designers using tried and tested parameters..measurements, fits etc and soon as we start fitting pattern stuff that all goes to pot. How many examples of cheese soft followers have we all suffered for instance.
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Offline Flashgreubon

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #54 on: 29.06. 2020 08:48 »
Harmony is the name of the game allright, i have seen many shagged bikes where everything wore in unison until they finally ground to a halt.
 My old faithfull guzzi T5  is one of them with 120.000 km on the clock the heads were never off and the clutch was done at 75000 all electrics are original and everything works.
 Harmony is also the strong point of this brilliant forum, thanks to all for your words if wisdom and encouragement.
i misled the sledge and the bloody matches are wet , ebay's the last hurdle...?
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Offline ianbsa

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #55 on: 29.06. 2020 09:17 »
In a funny way I think the "restoration" game has a lot to answer for.
When I lived at home decades ago an elderly chap up the road ran a mid fifties A7SS which was dead original but tatty and ran sweet as a nut....in other words the engine was fine, frame just needed a tidy up. Would love a bike like that now.
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Offline Tomcat

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #56 on: 29.06. 2020 09:21 »
G'day Flash G

You made the comment...
'They told me that it would settle down and that they had fitted triumph springs( against my advice as i knew that it would slip with them.'

I have an *** 4 spring clutch and it also slips (but has very light action) could you suggest some stronger springs to go in place of the light set, please.

Cheers TC
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Offline ianbsa

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #57 on: 29.06. 2020 12:42 »
New valve seats - are they at the same depth as the originals, because if they're not the springs will be under different tension and the push rod geometry and leverage will be different - add to this pattern valve springs which may or may not be the same strength as the originals and pattern cam followers which may be a fraction shorter or longer than the originals you have a whole set of issues which can turn a quiet bike into something which sounds quite horrible. ( I wrote this whilst Blacksheep was typing his post, seems like we're on the same wavelength!)

My goodness this site is gold and you guys r brilliant.
I've just noticed one of my inlet seats is lower than the rest... and I have this awful rattle plus pattern springs which I've always thght seem heavy...then I've got pattern followers, camshaft, worn rocker gear....christ the list goes on endlessly...where to start?
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Online cyclobutch

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #58 on: 29.06. 2020 16:21 »
First time I had mine back together with any amount of 'new' bits it wasn't so great and could still wet sump on a cold afternoon. That lasted just 250 miles before it seized solid. At which point I was pretty much all in, and took it to Roger at Cake Street. He went through it in little more than a week and found any number of bushes and bearings and bits that weren't quite right. Probably almost a case of his going through and blue printing to some extent. 

Bike was transformed, it's been an absolute delight ever since.
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Offline Flashgreubon

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #59 on: 23.07. 2020 21:55 »
Hi to all,
Well Lads, the sledge is still missing, i know i have it ...but i have it lost.
After an enormous amount of brain racking involving one of the brightest A10 gurus (who just happens to hail from Cork )
Here is where the cookie crumbled;
From the day the bike came out of the expensive specialist, it ***** oil throuvb the breathing hole under the mag.
After 2 return journeys to the specialist it still ***** with up to 400 ml of oil in the sump after a ride.
- compression measured good, oil filter by-passed, oiling to the rockers temporary by- passed too by returning directly from pump to tank.
Still the same with a rate of dropping from the breather at 2 drops per second!

And then we found the culprit:
 The  modified timing cover fitted when the needle bearing conversion waa done was not welded properly at all,at all,at all...
 So the pressure from the pump, instead of going through (the very amateurishly pressed) seal to the crank was just going to the sump as well as being  splashed up by the gears into the breather.the new shiny blue pump could not keep up with scavenging.
Chaterlea25, our Cork guru, had another modified cover showing an impeccable weld and a squared and flushed seal.
Substitution and BINGO no more oiling after nearly 3years of head scratching.
I went for a Long spin today to a friend who has an immaculate stone paved dryway, he ran for a bit of cardboard to lay under the bike when i arrived and an hour later there was 2 drops under the gearbox.
 The culprit cover has been returned to the specialist and we are waiting for their verdict.
 Besides this the engine is very strong and pulls very well ,a few more snags to sort and i might fall in love again.

 
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