Steering Head Bearings


Steering still notchy despite slapping in the spare (easy) top bearing I’ve been carrying the whole trip. Great people in Jackson, Mississippi, got me a close enough fit from a Toyota transfer box so I can change the lower bearing. Peanut butter is shown for scale. I’ve bought another hammer.


  • Bearing changed in pouring rain; I felt a bit like Henry V.
  • Chain tightened; it went about 20,000 miles without needing anything then fell to pieces all at once.  I’ve now tightened it three times in the last few days and it finally feels okay.
  • Horn wires broke so I’ve recrimped them.  I also had a look at an exploded diagram and rearranged the horn and hanger to better reflect Triumph’s ideas instead of my own.

Tiger now rides well; notchy steering and a slack chain made it a bit depressing to ride.  It’s also been surging but I’m hoping I’ve sorted that by doing a 30s reset.

Front Brake Master Cylinder #3

2016-03-24 16.24.41

I got another front brake master cylinder off eBay.  The size this time?  Back to the original 1/2″.  Increasing the size of the master cylinder is a big mistake, don’t do it.  Instead, replace the caliper seals and then, if you still have problems, consider Dot 5 brake fluid (but satisfy yourself that this is a good idea).  There is a stamp on the reservoir saying Dot 3 or 4 only and the replacement caliper seals probably say something similar.  I’m keeping an eye on things but my seals do not appear to be dissolving so far.

Changed the front brake pads in both calipers, too, and finally have pads for the rear.  What with the two new tyres, Silver is going to be like a new bike.

Rear Brake Pads At Last!

2016-03-26 00.49.12

I like to get the most out of my brake pads

A look back at this blog (it had to be useful for something) tells me I first started mentioning that I needed rear brake pads at 6,000 miles.  Finally got them at 22,000 miles so it’s amazing how you can stretch things out when you need to.

I have no recollection of this, but it says here that I changed one of the pads after Triumph sold me the wrong pair (one pad still fitted).  This would be the pad on the right in the image above.  Looks like it was a good call.

Vacuum Hose Fail Shocker


Lumpy tickover for a while and the odd backfire through the airbox. Sounded like a failed vacuum hose and indeed it was. I fashioned a repair by stealing a bit of the coolant reservoir overflow hose. Hardening and perishing of hoses is to be expected on a 12 year old bike.

Metzeler Tourance Fail!


And that is what the inside of a Metzeler Tourance looks like. For the second time in 31 years of motorcycling, I have had a tyre completely deflate while riding. I strongly suspect this tyre was old stock.

Four of these men are straining to lift a heavy motorbike onto a pickup.  The fifth man is pretending.


Thinking about it, the tyre was not old stock at all; we ordered it in California.  The max load is 325kg; we must be close to this.  What has destroyed the tyre is the regular crashing through pot holes that has gone on since we left the USA.

Obviously, we slow down and avoid pot holes whenever possible but, sometimes, we see them too late and have no choice but to take them head-on. I stand on the pegs and shout yee haw.  Helen just has to sit there.

We’ve hit pot holes hard enough for me to worry about bending the bike and I’ve regularly been thankful for our steel frame welded to our steel subframe.  Also, we keep the tyres inflated hard because a shredded tyre is a breeze compared to a shattered wheel.

The last time we hit a pot hole really hard was the morning this happened.

Oh the indignity

Another Bolt Bites the Dust

Quite how that third bolt got away, I’ll never know; it should have been held captive by the backbox. The bike now has a total of six cable ties enhancing its structural integrity.

I always carry cable ties because you never know how a date will end.

Bike is dusty as hell mere days after I spent US$2 having it cleaned

Hugger demonstrates indifference to conventional fixings

Side panels. Who needs bolts?