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Hi to all.   At last I did it!  Finally bought my first bike  , and it’s turning-up at 11am tomorrow.

Waited ages for the right machine to come along. Deliberated just about every bike that was ever made since 1910!  Then this one seemed to tick all boxes. Clubman/Novice owned 2009 4RT Repsol ltd.  New tyres , chain, sprockets , bearings , brake pads ,fluids and clutch. All done by an old-hand that rode it twice and decided to pass it on - as he mainly rides pre-65. 

I’m based in Norfolk , 15 miles south of Norwich , and apart from wrecking about in the garden - it looks like I’ll have to travel a bit to get to decent practice-grounds. Still , a couple of cones and a decent rock or two will keep me going for a while!  Until I buy a van (but I’m having a temporary break from ebay!!).

I’m 60 Kg and 5ft 7” - so any setup tips for the bike would be very welcome. Not sure what to expect of the suspension - but I’ll look forward to delving into this site and reading all the stuff I can.  I think the gearing is close to 9/43 with a slow-action throttle - and I’m told it’s very smooth , with a clean , brisk pickup. Hoping that will be suitable to learn with - without having to change anything drastic.  Going to have fun finding out anyway.

Looking to eventually (or sooner) join a trials club - and take every opportunity I can to get out and ride in different locations and at varied venues.  Will definitely do a couple of days of small-group tuition at some point - hopefully before I learn too many bad habits!

So big hi from me - and couldn’t resist a pic or two of the bike.  Cheers.

Edit.....The bike arrived this morning.   Damn - no gloves. So had a little shopping trip!  Pair of special edition Tony Bou Ltd “Gardening-style” Ladies Trial Max-Feel Super-Grip Dexterity-Demons - £2 at Morrisons! Shocking! Hope the colour fades quickly.

My Tinytach arrived today just after the bike , and if I trust it - it appears I am idling at 1500rpm with mudguard removed. No wonder I was jerking all round the garden , trying my best to hold-on!   I’m surprised the bike even started.   My first ride was a literal nightmare - took me 10 mins to find neutral!   I must have gone maybe 200 metres in half an hour!   Ha ha.  After re-setting to 1750rpm , I replaced the mudguard - only to watch the revs dip back to 1600rpm. So I jumped straight in. The fun starts here!! It must have been at 1,400rpm before! Surely 1,800rpm makes for a smoother ride? Guess all that tape over the vent-holes wasn’t helping. The half-inch of watery oil in the airbox was another surprise!  Ended up getting covered in old , molten Tiger-seal , and decided that tomorrow’s another day. Looking forward to getting it straight in the morning.  Then it’s get some proper tools , take the rear-wheel off - and find someone that will quickly put the rear-tyre on the right way round!  Aren’t the arrows meant to point forwards?








Edited by Nebulous
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Think about joining Wymondham club ( at least you should know how to pronounce it correctly), we have a Saturday evening trial on July 7th, see ACUE website for details.

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Thanks not ron - I saved the website of ACU and would certainly appreciate coming and having a look. Perhaps even offer to observe if needed. Attleborough isn’t far from me.

I’ve been lucky with my purchase. I’ve never worked on a bike and always wanted to learn. With this one , it seems that under the glossy exterior - there is a 10 year-old machine that could do with a bit of TLC.  My old toolkit had to be left behind in a move - so I’m starting from scratch. My days of car maintainance are probably over - so it’s great to have something else to tinker with.

Aformentioned extras , and some I didn’t know about were - Fatbars , S3 Hardrocks , Apico AJP shorty levers , Kill Switch , Engine Case-Saver , DAB rear brake-pedal , Talon 43 Sprocket (with the 9!) , couple of carbon bits - New Michelin front and IRC rear. Don’t know what the new pads are front and rear , and the carbon lower-fork protectors with new decals were also a nice surprise. Supposedly had suspension-bearings - but it’s mostly dry as a bone down there.

I’ve been cleaning-out the airbox , removing sealant , gunk and tape from inside the mudguard - and setting the idle today. That went very well, and this evening - started first kick and settled very well. The fan which had been on constantly is now switching in and out nicely - with no change in rpm.  Since I’m picking up tools as needed , my next purchase is a plug-spanner and a new platinum (won’t hurt) - and probably some ring-spanners too.

Will get a lift-stand and have that rear-wheel removed soonish - and look towards re-greasing everything in sight. The IRC is the wrong way round , so will need re-fitting.  At least that has spurred me to get the wheel off , and investigate the suspension before I put some hours in.

One pain is the inspection plug for the timing cover. It’s a flimsy ally Apico red one that has been tightened beyond belief ( If it’s reverse thread then now would be a good time to tell me!) . I can’t shift it at all , and a standard allen key would just strip it. I’m wondering if an impact driver might help? Otherwise , that will be a nuisance to drill-out - or worse still , a s/h replacement cover.  I would have liked to have set valve-clearances and possibly have a crack at retarding the base-timing slightly. I was told an S3 header-pipe helps smooth-out pickup , but that’s an expensive way to do it.

I didn’t get a chance to ride today , as to be honest - I am struggling with my health.  40 years of smoking and a rock and roll lifestyle has now put me in a bad way. I will be happier when I’ve had the CT-scan and Heart-echo this saturday - results of that in 3 weeks time. Too many hospital visits recently , they asked if I’d made a will ffs!   Anyway  , the bike was to help me take my mind off myself , and to get me out in the fresh-air. It’s certainly done that , but I don’t have the stamina for more than a couple of minutes on the pegs. The jerky response of the bike didn’t help at all , but I’m hoping that 1,800rpm will make the onset of that throttle a bit less of a shock - compared to the 1,440 I think it was set to. New throttle and bearing on the way. The bike has the new dimpled clutch-plates - so there’s a nice feel there , but I’m finding gear-selection troublesome (and painful). Think it’s technique more than a mechanical problem , but I do lack the experience.   Perhaps joining a club might introduce me to someone that would be willing to come over and test the bike for me.  I bought a new Apico black gear-lever anyway (with orange tip!).  Figured that if I’m going to hurt my foot on it every time - then it might as well look nice! Will probably glue an extra layer of leather on that part of my boot , if it continues to be awkward.

Have some play-cones (5) arriving from Ebay , and a decent square of grass with a 6” step in the middle , to play on - maybe 50ft by 40ft. I think the cones will give me something to focus on , and stop me worrying about how slippery that grass is!   I just hope I read the advert correctly and that they really are 12”.   12cm might be a little difficult to take seriously!  Really starting with the basics , and watching basics videos on Youtube.  That first ride on the bike yesterday was educational to say the least - and on a trials-bike you definitely have to earn your confidence , if you want to stay upright. Any bluster - I can can imagine would soon be met with a faceful of grass!   So I’m watching other’s first-time lessons and group training sessions for novices. Trying to observe their balance and predict what the bike will do under them.

I did adjust the bars back a bit tonight , and put the levers more inboard - but I think I’ll cut a half inch off them each side.  Helped to get my weight back over the airbox , rather than the tank - but at full lock , the width of the bars feels a bit extreme. Hopefully , I can have a spell on the bike tomorrow - and decide whether to put a hacksaw on my shopping-list , or not.

S’pose this has the makings of a blog.   Wasn’t my intention , but hell - I was lonely!



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Waited for the postman today , before getting on the bike again.



Well , that one did the trick. Bit of retail-therapy never hurts.   Started the bike up and waited for the fan , whilst getting my breath back!  First impressions at 1,800rpm idle were great. Cool - the bike saunters on in second , and creeps in first - with no clutch.  Tiny amounts of throttle are much easier to apply , and the bars-adjustment of yesterday has improved my position a lot.    I did 5 mins and came back up the drive. Decided to raise the gear-lever to where it is now - and it is really comfy to operate compared to the stock lever.  I was actually able to change from second to first , and back to second - whilst creeping along. Was very chuffed!  

My only gripe is that the throttle-return spring rate is so light. It goes back to zero , but I reckon a beginner could do with a lot more resistance on the throttle. I wonder if an adjustment can be made - either on the throttle itself , or on the throttle-body maybe?  Certainly was easy to blip when changing hand position , and caught me out a few times.

Even at this early stage , I am in agreement that the ideal gearing for the 4rt should originate from a 10 front-sprocket. For the beginner seeking smoothness , and finally mastering subtlety of throttle and clutch - the 9 sprocket fights against all that nuance , and wants to have it’s own grabby little thing going on.   A 44 rear-sprocket would be perfect.  9/43 is a little too slow and stall-friendly in first , and second-gear lacks pace too , but too fast for tight stuff.  I think 10/44 would actually flatter the beginner , and aid the quick learning of clutch usage (With the dimpled plates and correct oil naturally).

Was happy and together enough to go on the bike a second time , and did 30 mins of riding in total. Most of it doing turns as tight as I could - trying to steer with the pegs , and keep the shoulders square with the bars. All of it was in second gear.  What a difference from the bike of yesterday.  Really pleased , and thinking that I bought the right bike for me.  Properly set up and tuned - I can believe in it , with no reservations - and that counts for a lot , as I do my best to slowly learn.

Edited by Nebulous

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