Racing Rhino update 13 Nov 2019.

I thought it was about time that I brought you up to date with what’s been hapening with my V7Sport, aka The Racing Rhino, this year. Both my Moto Guzzis haven’t really had much done as I’ve had to “play with” the BSA which seems to have been doing what British Bikes do. In fact The Fire Bike has needed no work at all. The last thing I did to that was to fit wiring for heated gloves last winter.

The flappy mirror.

Anyway, turning to Rhino, there have been a few minor jobs done (and very few miles covered). One annoyance was that, if you travelled at a decent speed, the mirror would fold back. This meant I kept tightening it up at the pivot until eventually one day it broke.

The problem was with the part that mounts to the clamp on the handlebar. The top piece in the photo below is the original. A threaded portion with a locknut which goes in the mount and a thinner section with a spring and small nut which is supposed to hold the mirror arm in place. It was that skinny bit which gave out and the photo is of an unbroken one.

The lower parts are my modified replacements. What I did was drill the base of the mirror arm so that an M10 fine thread bolt could pass through, added a spacer to take the place of the spring, then chamfered the underside of the bolt so it could turn. A shakeproof washer makes the lot solid but not so solid that it wouldn’t move if the worst were to happen!

This is what it looked like after the modification.

I made a similar modification to my spare mirror set and fitted that to the BSA. The intention is to get replacement bolts in stainless steel now that I know the system works. An allen bolt might even be better.

Mini indicators.

Last year my ride to Devon on the motorways made it clear to me that I needed to fit some indicators. Changing lanes in heavy traffic just felt unsafe. Years ago it wouldn’t have fazed me but I must have got older and wiser! I have a pair of very tatty original style Aprilia indicators. It would take a lot to refurbish them and the cost of two more to make a set is just rediculous. I decided that instead I would find some small modern LED indicators which hopefully wouldn’t stand out too much. I found these on eBay for very little money and chose them in preference to the more common “bullet” style. I bought two pairs.

They are really tiny but are e-marked (not that that matters on an old bike like mine).

Little aluminium brackets were made to mount them to the front headlamp bolts.

and some to mount the rears either side of the number plate.

The little tabs on the rear mounts are to keep the brackets in place by hooking in the slot of the number plate bracket.

Next I needed a switch. You may know that I have some trouble working switches with my right hand after the demise of Rhino’s Friend (the 750S3) in 2014. This meant I had to come up with some arrangement on the left where the lights and horn switch are already. I didn’t want to fit a chinese switch this time (as I did on the V7 700) so bought a small toggle switch with a waterproof cover and made up a bracket from a scrap piece of aluminium angle. This could then go under the existing snuffbox style switch.

The bracket is fastened to the clutch lever mount.

It took me three goes to find a suitable flasher relay. The first, although advertised for LED lamps, wasn’t and the second didn’t switch the lamps out between flashes. Instead they just dimmed. These were both 2-pin relays. The third was an electronic 3-pin type and worked perfectly. Wiring for indicators is straightforward enough.

An important note here regarding the connections on the flasher relay. You would assume the connections marked “B” & “E” would mean battery and earth but in this case those were reversed! See here

I took the supply for the new circuit from my fuse 5 which was only providing power to the horns. The flasher relay itself is just tucked out of the way at the moment but I’ll work out a way to secure it.

I ran the indicator wiring as a seperate loom down the righthand side of the frame then on to the switch.

From there the wiring was taken into the headlamp shell via an existing hole which had a rubber plug in.

I drilled the headlamp mounting bolts to take the indicator wires and earthed them to the same bolts.

Inside the headlamp I connected up the cables using these Wago clamp connectors which I used when wiring my lathe. I figured it was better than using “choc blocks”! If I’d crimped/soldered connectors to the wires I wouldn’t be able to get them out through the drilled headlamp bolts or the grommet in the headlamp shell.

The front end. Looks OK for now.

The loom also goes back to the rear mudguard. It’s just two cables. A “Y” peice was added to the tail lamp earth circuit and the earths wires from the indicators then share a crimp connector to the new terminal. Not pretty but it gets hidden behind the number plate.

Looks neat, even if I say so myself.

And it works.

I got everything done in time for this year’s ride to Devon for the Guzzi Festival but ended up having to go by car!

Pant-Y-Dwr bike show 6 Oct 2019.

Yes I’m still here and yes I’ve done quite a bit with my bikes. However, I lost the impetus to write about it this year. No excuses – just didn’t do it.

Anyhow, once again I made my way over to the Pant-y-Dwr Show. I rode over on The Racing Rhino as it’s not had many outings. Actually less than 100 miles in a year probably because I’ve been busy playing with the BSA I bought back in January. It’s probably the 4th time I’ve been to Pant-y-Dwr near Rhayader, a 50 or so miles ride each way for me, as it’s become a don’t-miss event. I like this show for a number of reasons. It’s compact nature and the interesting variety of bikes on show to start with. It’s also all very friendly and a lot of time is spent outside chatting to others about their machines and watching people come and go.

Here are the photos I took at the event. Some in the show hall and others out in the car park. First, of course, is The Racing Rhino in select company outside in the bike park.

This year a few race bikes were fired up. I was a bit late to the party but managed to take a video of a very nice RC163 Honda replica being run. Noisy it was.

“Stuff” has been happening – 3 Feb 2019.

I know it looks like I’ve given up posting but let’s just say there’s just been a hiatus.

I’ve continued to be absorbed with family issues but a little motorcycle related time has been had. Hopefully I can get back to normal soon.

Seb’s LeMans has been pretty much totally dismantled for some weeks now and the basic cleaning of parts has taken place and there is now a list of work to be carried out. The workshop looks fairly busy at the moment!

My┬ápersonal injury compensation following the accident in 2014 finally came through late last year. You might notice a new addition to the garage in the back of the first photo as I’ve spent a little of the proceeds. I can’t get round it at the moment to take you any photos so I’ll just show you these two from the original sales advert.

I’ve never actually owned a British bike having started my riding at a time when Japanese 2-strokes were all the rage. Then I moved to Guzzis in the late 70’s and never looked back. I’ve thought for a while that I would like to own one for at least a short while and started looking just before Christmas. I dallied with the idea of something from the 1930’s but I had some doubts that the small sidevalve bikes I could afford would suit me. I ended up buying this 1954 BSA M33 500cc OHV single with a sprung (plunger) frame which arrived at my place in mid January. It says B33 on it but that’s wrong. I’m not sure what the fuel tank came off and for some reason it’s been fitted with a 21-inch front wheel but it looks the part. I can actually start it although I’ve never had to learn the technique before but haven’t ridden it yet due to the bad weather and the fact that the nipple has pulled off the carb end of the throttle cable. It’s already in bits! Whatever, it’ll be interesting.

I don’t know if you’ll hear much more about the BSA as it doesn’t really fit in here at The Racing Rhino although I might start a “not a Guzzi” section. However, I will post updates about the progress with Seb’s LeMans as well as the continued tales of my long-term Moto Guzzi ownership.

TTFN.