Hazel's Place

Hazel's Place
Picture modified by Pete C (W650 rider)

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Saturday, 17 July 2010

Tribsa Tribulations

Having recently got the new electronic ignition properly wired in and the timing set up properly, I got my arse into gear and fitted the lovely alloy tank and booked the little Tribsa in for its MOT.  Now, to fit the right hand side panel, you have to remove the oil cap.  Which I did, then fitted the side panel and rested the oil cap in position while I screwed the fasteners in.  All ready to go, so we headed off for the MOT station.  This is about eight miles away and we were nearly there when I noticed that my bum was feeling rather warm - I started to worry that some of the new electrickery was getting too hot but decided to carry on regardless.  On arrival at the MOT station, I noticed oil all down the side panel, all over the back tyre and all down the back of my leg.  That is when I remembered that I hadn't tightened the oil cap!  Nice people provided paper towels for me to clean the bike up a bit before the MOT and I was very relieved when it passed.  I was then allowed to use the jet wash to clean up the rather scary looking back tyre before heading home.  The new electronic ignition seems to have had good effect - I was seeing 70-75 on the speedo rather than the maximum 60 it was managing in Holland last year.  Realistically, the actual speed was nearer 65-70 but still an improvement.

I was away camping in Derbyshire for the weekend after that so the next Tribsa ride was to work on the Monday.  On arriving at work, I was somewhat perturbed to find that there was oil all over the back tyre again (and almost everywhere else - but the chain looked well-lubed!).  I checked and was glad to find that I hadn't been stupid enough to leave the oil cap undone again but I did find that there was almost no oil left in the tank.  I spent some time trying to clean up with paper towels and then my friend Myles, who works on the same industrial estate, rode up on his B40 and told me to bring the Tribsa over to him at lunch time so we could investimagate.  The further investimagation showed that oil was returning to the tank but it was also gushing out of the engine breather.   It wasn't possible to sort out at the time so I called on good old Carole Nash recovery to take me and the Tribsa home.  Further enquiry suggested that there might be some problem with the oil pump and there was some helpful information on the Real Classic message board that suggested running the engine until warm then draining the sump and checking the amount of oil that drained out.  I attempted to try this out today but discovered that the drain plug is so bodged about that none of my spanners or sockets will actually fit it.  At this point I gave up.  I think I will have to file some flat edges on the drain plug so that I can get a grip on it in order to remove it.  I'll be ordering a new one from Supreme Motorcycles on Monday.

The plan was to ride the Tribsa to Kent for the BSAOC summer camp next Friday - I haven't given up hope yet.......


  1. Yer doing brilliant there quine, keep up the good work. It's fun, innit, all this oil and spanners and stuff.

  2. Drain plug now ordered. Also some new Whitworth spanners and sockets as the ones that were in the shed seem to have left along with that bloke Jon!

    Realistically, I think I'll be going to Kent on the Honda though.

  3. Hopefully the oil problems no more than a bad case of wet sumping and oil pump not able to scavenage it back to the tank quick enough, as you say drain off the oil and refill, it'll be fine.
    Its great the differance a few new electrical bits make to an old bike. We tend to forget how old the bits on our bikes are and when you think about it its amazing half the stuff still works.
    Hopefully you'll get the Tribsa sorted for the Rally, enjoy it when you get there

    cheers kawa

  4. Whitworth spanners did make a brief re appearance but when your drain plugs round its molegrip time. Sorry you did'nt get it done, but probly best take a bit o time and let the Honda take the strain.Have a good un,Jon.

  5. I've got a lovely shiny set of Whitworth spanners and sockets now. Investimagations of the Tribsa will begin shortly. To be honest, it was probably a lot easier on the Honda (loads more luggage carrying capacity!)