Author Topic: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned  (Read 1188 times)

Online RDfella

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A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« on: 03.02. 2019 16:48 »
Around 30 yrs ago I asked the guy I used to get my spares from to find me a frame for an engine I was building. Not long after a ’58 GF arrived – bit tatty but complete and a runner – just. Deciding it would be a shame to scrap it, I put it to the back of my shed and got another frame for the project. Not getting any younger, last year I decided it was about time I restored it. How I regret that decision. It has been one problem after another - I should have used it for the project. Here’s a sample: front brake, despite all the usual remedies (including TLS mod) it remains on the dangerous side of adequate. The LH front fork leaks. I’ve rebuilt BSA singles front forks since the mid 60’s and never had a problem, but hey ho, this one won’t behave. I’ve given up trying to seal the thread and now rely on the fact there’s at least one (primitive) shock absorber on the other side. A few weeks ago the battery was flat. Traced the fault to the dynamo. Fitted a new armature and now the charging is off the gauge. I don’t ride at night, so gonna pull the field wire and forget about charging.
Today was sunny and fairly warm, so started the GF ready for a ride. But what’s this – no return to tank. Ran it for several seconds then shut it down. Pulled the timing cover and oil pump and checked the pump on the bench. Works fine and both worm gears are in good order. Put pump back and tried again. No oil return (and next to nothing in sump). At that point, I had difficulty stopping myself from smashing it up. Had the local scrapyard been open (it’s Sunday) I’d have taken it there and asked them to crush it whilst I waited. I’ve had many bikes over the years but this one has been the most unreliable and annoying; and by a considerable margin.
Will make up my mind over the next couple of days what to do with it. At present, either parting it out or dumping the engine and box and fitting something else seem the two best options. Only reason I’ve persevered this long is because so much in the way of parts and time have gone into the restoration.
'49 B31, '49 M21, '53 DOT, '58 Flash, '00 Firestorm, Weslake sprint bike.

Online Rex

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #1 on: 03.02. 2019 16:53 »
Blimey....that's the sum of your problems? I reckon my A7 was a painful resurrection but I'd swap my problems for yours in a Flash! 

Offline worntorn

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #2 on: 03.02. 2019 18:22 »
Rdfella, I read your post, saw the Union Jack and thought it was wrong, somehow in my mind I had you as a US member.
So I checked your profile , yep UK there too, guess I had it wrong.
Had a chuckle that the computer program here ( based on post numbers?) has you listed as " A's best friend".
The oil pump problem is a weird one, they normally pump something, even when in tough shape . Air lock in feed?
The other problems don't sound very serious, frustrating for sure, but pretty regular old bike issues.
I have a Vincent special  that has a nearly new  GSXR 600 front fork and noted recently that it is puking oil from one fork, so even the modern stuff isn't totally immune to problems.

Glen

Offline Swarfcut

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #3 on: 03.02. 2019 18:49 »
 Post deleted by Author. February 10 2019.

 Prompted by a lack of appreciation for sound practical advice.

 Swarfy.


 

 

Online muskrat

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #4 on: 03.02. 2019 19:13 »
G'day RD.
Ah the joys of getting/keeping a 60 odd year bike on the road. On every smooth highway there is always a pothole or ten!
Sometimes it's best to get someone else to have a look. We all suffer from tunnel vision at some point.
Cheers
'51 A7 plunger, '57 A7SS now A10CR, '76 XT500, '77 AG175 '83 CB1100F, '81 CB900F project.
Australia
Muskys Plunger A7

Offline trevinoz

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #5 on: 03.02. 2019 21:17 »
RD, you should sell it immediately. A10s are not for you.

Online BigJim

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #6 on: 03.02. 2019 23:05 »
Feel your pain!
Having something else to destroy ( empty beer can, annoying headlamp that keeps failing at the critical moment, the part that never fitted ((and was never ever going to fit when it was sold to me)), cuddly toy etc) and to hand can save the day.
I follow this up with a good shout and swear, then keep well away for a while.
I can get philosophical about it, after a few hours, with this technique.
Hope oil returns soon.
Jamie,  Supporter of Distinguished Gentleman's Ride

Offline Tomcat

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #7 on: 04.02. 2019 07:46 »
Good call Big Jim...
then keep well away for a while.



It's a hobby RDF, if you're not enjoying it, leave it alone for a while. Then you will figure out how to fix these little issues. ;)
Everyone has teething problems after a resto, no matter what they tell you.  *eek*
My bikes are going nicely ATM, so this is what I'm doing for entertainment. No new parts are available for it, everything has to be made or pirated from anther car!
Cheers TC
'48 A7 '59 SR '74 850 Commando TDM900

Offline cyclobutch

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #8 on: 04.02. 2019 10:49 »
Had the same thing with a Sunbeam S7D. A dream bike for me, and foolishly I bought one that had just been rebuilt. Now I'd wager I'm not so handy as some folks on here, so eventually after I had been through a huge catalogue of faults, which included having the engine out on the bench for fairly serious work I then handed it over for expert attention.

After all of which the bike was still desperately unreliable, still quite vibey, and it turned out I really didn't even enjoy riding it that much. The last work I did was switching it to wasted spark - after which it would not even run at all.

So it owes me big time and I really, really hate it. So much so that I can't even face switching the coil back over, getting it running and selling it on to claw back whatever I can. It languishes in one of the lower sheds, out of sight.  It's been a horrible experience and so I can only sympathise. 
Various, including ...
'58 Iron Head Flash Bitza


Online RDfella

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #9 on: 04.02. 2019 12:40 »
Thanks for the support, fellas.
I learnt a long time ago, whether it's relationships, vehicles or whatever, there comes a time when you have to face the fact you're flogging a dead horse. I have reached that point with this bike. Maybe these continuing problems wouldn't bother me so much if it hadn't been a similar situation throughout the restoration, but I'm not prepared to carry on with a bike that’s going to be a perpetual ‘what’s wrong now’ scenario (and that’s assuming I could solve this latest mystery).
I had that with a Velocette in the mid 60’s. Frame kept breaking where the bottom rail met the downtube, the kickstart was a crappy design that bruised your ankle, but the final straw was the auto adv unit. It had a hole drilled in the taper to locate a spring. Result was if you did it up tight enough not to slip it split – and slipped. The bike went to our local dump.
Then my Triton. I didn’t like the handling, couldn’t ride it at night because the alternator couldn’t keep up with the lights, and got fed up with having to clean the clutch plates every couple of days to prevent the slip which prevented it going over compression fast enough to strike a light. I sold it.
Now the A10. Even more grief than the Velo or Triton. After so much work sorting out wear and tear and others’ bodges, I’d hoped for a reasonably reliable bike - like my other ones, which I just start and ride.
It's a lovely looking bike and the frame handle well, but the engine is more trouble than it’s worth. As an engineer I simply cannot tolerate unreliable machinery.
So, as others have advised, I’m going to keep away from the bike for a while, because otherwise I’m likely to take a lump hammer to it. Indeed, if my mate hadn’t been with me yesterday I would have done just that.
But what to do? I believe there’s another member with a Sunbeam giving him similar grief. Won’t go so you can’t ride it, and can’t sell it either. I’ve discounted the idea of fitting another make of engine, as I’d still have the leaking fork and rubbish brakes. Whatever I decide, this bike will be gone one way or another. And soon. The crusher is looking very inviting.


'49 B31, '49 M21, '53 DOT, '58 Flash, '00 Firestorm, Weslake sprint bike.

Online RichardL

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #10 on: 04.02. 2019 13:07 »
RD,

I think my words here will mean little, but what the heck.

When I go out for a ride with friends, or in group rides with others riding modern bikes, I warn about my riding style by telling them I don't have what they would call "brakes."

As for oil return, the one time this happened to me was after the oil lines had been disconnected for a while. Turned out a spider had left its egg sack in the intake fitting.

If you do happen to abandon the A10, I don't suspect you'll be visiting us here, so we will miss your engineering knowledge.

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Offline berger

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #11 on: 04.02. 2019 13:08 »
I just love that bit -"as an engineer-" well I say you are not working on a rocket to take you to the moon its an old brit bike , get a smile  *smile* on your face and go through the simple steps, which are very simple and get it sorted instead of throwing the toys out of the pram . if I had your way of thinking I would have had 40years of other bike riding instead of 40 years of I love my bike I hate my bike and sorting out its problems *fight* I take my hat off to greybeard - now he has had problems , you have a little upset *razz*

Online RichardL

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #12 on: 04.02. 2019 13:18 »
Hear, hear! Agree wholeheartedly regarding GB's inspirational tenacity.

Richard L.
Plan on signing up for the world-wide 2017 DISTINGUISHED GENTLEMAN'S RIDE on September 30, 2018. Watch website at https://www.gentlemansride.com for details.

Online Greybeard

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #13 on: 04.02. 2019 13:47 »
Steady on guys; you'll have me walking on water, (instead of just passing it)

Online bsa-bill

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Re: A10 - most irritating bike I've owned
« Reply #14 on: 04.02. 2019 14:25 »
Quote
instead of just passing it

Walking to do so accounts for 99% of my exercise regime *conf*

Yep restoring these old irons can provide many a challenge, exactly what we need to keep geriatric grey matter from taking to many holidays
All the best - Bill
1961 Flash - stock, reliable, steady, fantastic for shopping
1959 Rocket Gold Flash - blinged and tarted up  would have seizure if taken to  Tesco