Beckett's Corner

Making the Scrambler Cool

in Beckett's Corner

Excessive heat from the exhaust of the Triumph Scrambler 1200s is a much discussed subject.  The positioning of the catalytic converter on the 2019 - 2021 models was the only serious design flaw on an otherwise superb bike.  These cats run at temperatures above 752 °F and the positioning on the early model Scrambler 1200s with their classic high level exhaust system is really not good for a rider. Unfortunately, Triumph's fix for this pushed the cat back to be incorporated in the tail pipe assembly, so I guess now the heat issue affects your pillion passenger, or roasts your buns instead of your leg.

For those not familiar with these bikes, this is what they look like.  The cat sits right in line with the cylinder, which of course is right in line with your knee and upper calf, and the portion of the exhaust that is covered by the black trim is where all that heat moves back to, so creating a mini convection oven for your inner thigh. 

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Scrambling for Space

in Beckett's Corner

A little while ago I was contemplating giving up riding completely and selling off my collection... a few nano-seconds later the thought had passed and I decided instead to get my collection all running again, or as many of them as reasonably possible.  The garage was a mess though, well not really a mess, but cluttered. Yes that's the right way to put it.  With two vintage cars, 4 motorcycles, my bicycle, my daughter's bicycle and all the other stuff that just amasses and absorbs space in a garage things were getting a little tight.

Starting to clear through the clutter I stumbled across a set of casters that I had forgotten that I had.  After removing three of the motorcycles I could see this wall space that was remarkably the same size as the '67 MGB.  I slipped the casters under the wheels of the MGB and carefully pushed it over tight to the side of the garage.  Stepping back I had the dawning realization that I had room for a fifth motorcycle, and so...

My mind turned to scramblers, or rather returned to scramblers as I had been researching off road capable bikes for some time, even considering the all electric Zero DSR.  That bike was a real thrill to ride and I had no doubt it was the right design for the mix of road and trail riding that I want to do more of.  The two deal breakers though are the high price and the lack of range.  Even to get a modest 160 mile range out of the bike (under controlled conditions!) you'd have to shell out an extra $2,500 for an extra battery on top of the high price of the bike. And that battery would sit so high on the bike, basically sitting where a gas tank would be, that it upsets the balance of the bike.  If you didn't buy the battery, but bought the fast charger you are still in for an extra $2,500 and then you have to carefully plan the logistics of your rides to get you to a fast charge station when you need it and hope that nobody else is using it, so you can grab your hour of standing around to recharge your bike.  No, electric is not there yet, but I have no doubts it is going to get there and the thrill of that instant torque and adrenaline pumping acceleration is hard to beat.

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Do Dandroids Dream of Electric Bikes?

in Beckett's Corner

It's been a while since I contributed to the site and I have a lot of catching up to do with my trials and tribulations of multi-bike ownership. Aside from the obvious impacts over the past 2 years by "V who shall be nameless", in recent months one thing after another has made it such that I have been unable to ride at all. I had seriously given thought to hanging up my boots and calling it a day! However, by happenstance I started talking to a fella beside a beautiful Velocette MSS at the IMS Atlanta show and he turned out to be Keith Kizer, the Executive Director of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (AMCA https://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/), where I had previously been a member, but had allowed my membership to lapse in recent years. Anyway, long story short, Keith got me signed back up in the club and encouraged me to pull my 1950 Velocette Mac off display in my basement and get it back on the road. Yes, that seemed like such an easy thing to commit to at the time, but I have removed said motorcycle from my basement and it now resides in my garage, though not quite running again yet...more to come on that adventure.

It seems that the 2021 IMS show in Atlanta was a day for new beginnings for me. While at the show I took advantage of a Zero electric motorcycle test ride, opting to ride a very slick SRS model. The acceleration, balance, handling, control, basically everything about the bike exceeded all expectations and a seed was planted about ownership of an electric motorcycle. As they say, with age comes maturity (well maybe sometimes), so I allowed the idea of purchasing a new motorcycle (it would be number 8) to settle to the back of my mind for a while. And there it sat buzzing away periodically, nagging at me, zipping and zapping across my mind and it would not rest. I began to search for options on electric motorcycle ownership. Frankly there is only one game in town at the moment and that is Zero Motorcycles. They have a good range of models, if not a good range of miles (yet), but memories of the sheer fun and enjoyment of whooshing down the street almost silently on the IMS test ride would not leave me.

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Dead Red - The Prince of Darkness Strikes

in Beckett's Corner

I finally got a chance to get out for a ride today and since I still need to get the ABS fixed on the 2010 Triumph Tiger I decided to take little Red out and put some more break in miles on him. I gave him a clean-up before leaving, since he was going out in public, and he looked real pretty sitting on the drive.

Red, for those who don't know, is a 1970 Triumph TR25W.  His last great adventure ended in disaster when he suffered a catastrophic seizure up in Jasper. Since then he has had a complete rebuild and having completed an initial shake down ride bringing him back from the mechanic I was starting to gently put miles on to break him in. 

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