I’ve had my Street Triple for nearly 10 years. For some of those years it didn’t have a garage to live in and for a time it was with me in the depths of Cornwall, where the sea air is refreshing for the humans but not so much for the machinery.
Although I’ve had it serviced regularly and it’s usually kept pretty clean and tidy, the wear and tear is starting to show.
You can see from the pictures how a bit of TLC wouldn’t go amiss. Not shown are the chrome headlights, which have some light pitting. I know there’s some pitting on the forks as well. So far the new seal is holding uo but it may go again. The bike does need a wash at the moment so ignore any general grubbiness.
This is just the visual wear and tear. After 15 years and about 35,000 miles I’m sure there are some internal parts that could also do with a bit of an overhaul. Unless there’s a good reason I would prefer not to pull the engine and gearbox apart!
I’d like to bring the bike up to something approaching it’s original condition. I’ve got an internet full of useful stuff and a forum here with an impressive collective knowledge of all things bike. What I don’t have is any practial experience of a job this big. But I do have a large garage and lots of tools! It doesn’t matter if the bike is off the road for some months, so I have time, as well.
My initial thoughts are along the lines of, how far does the bike eed stripping down to do the job thoroughly, what can be restored and what will need replacing, will the frame need to be bare for recoating etc.
I’m very interested to hear from people who have wielded a spanner or two in their time as to what I’m getting myself in to, what problems I’m likely to encounter, and what I should be aware of before starting.
Sounds like a nice job Saul, and fair play to you giving the old girl the attention she needs. We were lucky purchasing the mrs. 2008 as it was an Italian bike (no salt) which had always been garaged. It had only 14k miles on it, and is pretty clean.
Get a workshop manual, as well as a Haynes manual (Haynes sometimes have handy items and pictures in, sometimes).
Generally, the idea is to take the machine apart to enable access to rusty, crappy parts to either restore, repaint or replace.
As the parts come off (taking loads of photos as you go) inspect and decide what you want to do with it. Start making a list of replacements (if needed) and slowly work as deep as you need to. Buy a pack of plastic freezer bags to put parts in and label the bags.
Make sure you have WD40, brake/carb cleaner, acetone and automatic transmission fluid mix (for those stubborn rusty nuts and bolts.
Get all the rebuild kits (gaskets, o rings, pipework, plugs etc etc).
Some say there’s no point in trying to fix somethiong that isn’t broken but I find just diving into selected parts just makes life more difficult.
You may not want to go to the last nut and bolt just for the sake of it, or even want to strip the entire engine, but at least get into it to allow a good inspection and adjustment of cam shims, chains etc.
It’s a machine, it’ll do as it’s told, dive in with the spanners and special tools (there’s always special tool requirements).
Take your time, take photos, do little sketches on how complicated bits come apart (like where the spacers go in the wheel spindles, which way round the bearings go, label the electrical connectors and wires with masking tape, etc) doesn’t matter if it takes a year or two.
It’s actually quite nice to get a full understanding of the bike and know that you rebuilt it yourself.
And, most of all, enjoy it. It’s the journey not the destination (or something like that)…
What he said ^^^
Depends on your character and how ocd you are (I am quite sick )
Personally I always apply the criteria “will I be wishing I’d done it properly” in a few months time, that always answers any indecision.
Good luck with this project. My idea of hell.
I’m non mechanical thinking.
I could probably manage to fit the round peg in the square hole , I’ve got a big hammer.
I would then lose the square peg……
I had some of those things in mind but not all, and it’s reassuring to have it listed out by someone who’s been there, done that, and lost count of the t-shirts. I’m sure I’ll learn by my own mistakes at times but I’d like to keep that to a minimum!
A workshop manual is definitely a good call. I’ll pick one of those up and have a good look over it to start familiarising myself with the bike in detail. I want to make sure I know what I’m doing before starting on any part of the bike so there’s going to be a fair amount of research/education involved along the way. That’s why it’s going to take me some time. Still, any works that can be done over a nice hot cup of tea is worth doing, in my opinion.
I’ll get stocked up on a few other items not currently on the shelf. It’s an expense but I also reckon investing in a bike lift would save a lot of hassle and make it easier to work without it being too cold and uncomfortable. Assuming the engine has to come out I’ll also need some method and/or mechanism to do that. I’ll look in to it.
I’ve been going backwards and forwards in my mind for ages about the frame. Sometimes I think about just fixing up the corroded bit but then I start worrying it will look like a patch-up. Then I start casting my eye over the rest of the bike (see pics) and can’t help but notice it really would benefit from a serious overhaul.
All good jobs start with a list or two. I’ll start one for the items needed and another for the jobs that need doing along the way. The one thing I can do is manage a project.
So you’ve already answered your first question
I wouldnt strip the whole thing at once, rather I suggest, do the rear, then rebuild, then the forks and rebuild, etc. This way you dont take so long, or lose track also you have less bits. Its also inspiring to look at your rebuilt bits as your stripping the next section.
That sounds like excellent advice! Breaking the work down in to discrete phases makes sense. Once I have the list of all the work to do I’ll see how to plan it out that way.