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My guess is cracked valve seat between the spark plug hole and exhaust valve.
... if the rings were damaged and not the valves he'd be losing compression into the crankcase and that should become quickly apparent.
 

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Hipster,
Has that puppy been sitting around before you rescued it ? Those engines are kind of the farm tractors of motorcycling. They survive all kinds of abuse and keep running so if it really only has 10 K on the clock and with the little bit of work you have done has improved this much you got nothing to lose by trying Minimans idea and squirt some oil down the bores and retest the compression.

I just came in from my shop and started reading e-mails and saw your post We had just gotten a Triumph twin that had been sitting (asking 1200 paid 950) since George Bush was in office. Ran like crap. We did a basic tune (compression was low on one hole) plugs, filters, yada,yada yada. Yesterday I was going to pull the heads and see what's what but thought since I was pulling it apart anyhow I'd try a county boy trick so I pored some Marvel Mystery Oil down the bores and let it sit over night. Got up this morning put some cheap bike oil in the engine after I spun the engine over to clear the cylinders. I fired it up with the old plugs and yippee ky yea it is running on two. Letting it warm up then oil,filter and new plugs then go for a ride to see if it really is better.

Some times it's just the engine being full of mung and the rings being stuck in the groves. Cheap fix if it works and little effort if it doesn't well then it comes apart.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Carry out another compression test, note the results.
Then Carry out the test again but squirt a small amount of oil through each plig hole first.

If the compression jumps up, its your rings, if they remain low you are losing compression through your valves (either past the seats or valve gaps too tight).
I am happy to report that after I did the compression test the correct way (bike warm, throttle open) I'm getting 125psi on three cylinders and 117 on the one that was reading low. Thanks for the helpful suggestions guys!

Question: I hate the cb350 bars that are one here. They are too high and wide and I feel less connected to the bike. I ran inverted clubmans on my 440 and I liked that stance much better, I am chasing the stance of my old suzuki katana 750, I felt well connected but comfortable (its considered a sport touring bike) should I go all the way with clipons and rearsets? Or do you think that's gay and I should just throw some superbike bars and call it a day? The bike has too much power to ride upright, I feel bad about mutilating it because it's all intact and would be a good resto candidate
 

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I am happy to report that after I did the compression test the correct way (bike warm, throttle open) I'm getting 125psi on three cylinders and 117 on the one that was reading low. Thanks for the helpful suggestions guys!

Question: I hate the cb350 bars that are one here. They are too high and wide and I feel less connected to the bike. I ran inverted clubmans on my 440 and I liked that stance much better, I am chasing the stance of my old suzuki katana 750, I felt well connected but comfortable (its considered a sport touring bike) should I go all the way with clipons and rearsets? Or do you think that's gay and I should just throw some superbike bars and call it a day? The bike has too much power to ride upright, I feel bad about mutilating it because it's all intact and would be a good resto candidate
Hipster,
I'm afraid that handle bars are kind of like undies (boxers v's tidy whities) it's all about what makes you feel good. One thing to remember is that you could play with all kinds of bars looking for what works. This said if straight drag bars are still too tall then clip-ons have the advantage of being adjustable for height but also pull-back. So once you determine how high you need the clip-ons give you infinite range from just under the top clamp to just on top of the bottom and then how much pull-back feels right. By the way some clip-ons have an eccentric that lets you play with height (expensive as hell) I've worked with bikes with these but never one of ours so only a wee bit of fiddling.
Cheers
 

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@HipsterSquid Back in the 70's I fitted Laverda Jota multi adjustable bars to my Ducati 860GTe. Very similar to these which I believe are still available. You can adjust them to many configurations.
x2 on the laverda adjustables. I had them on my CX500 and loved them. Highly recommend.

That being said, remember your bike is a LTD, so a cruiser model. play into its strengths. Don't try to force it into something it isn't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
x2 on the laverda adjustables. I had them on my CX500 and loved them. Highly recommend.

That being said, remember your bike is a LTD, so a cruiser model. play into its strengths. Don't try to force it into something it isn't.
What strengths? Its a raked out ******* bike designed to haul fat chicks on the back. The motor and the brakes are only good thing about this bike. Its really hard to come by the sport versions of any of the old ujm's where I live. I'd be happy with the model "e" 18" rear wheel and a tighter front end. I'm trying really hard to read about geometry before I come on here asking stupid questions but it's fucking complicated to me because I suck at math. I learn better by making small changes and feeling the difference.
 

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What strengths? Its a raked out *** bike designed to haul fat chicks on the back. The motor and the brakes are only good thing about this bike. Its really hard to come by the sport versions of any of the old ujm's where I live. I'd be happy with the model "e" 18" rear wheel and a tighter front end. I'm trying really hard to read about geometry before I come on here asking stupid questions but it's fucking complicated to me because I suck at math. I learn better by making small changes and feeling the difference.
you just listed the strengths: "Its a raked out *** bike designed to haul fat chicks on the back. The motor and the brakes are only good thing about this bike"

There's the universal things to improve the bike: suspension, braces, brakes/brake lines, tires, bearings/bushings, ignition etc...
But then you lean in to the weird 80s japanese cruiser/muscle bike thing and you OWN IT. Make that bike look the part.
Like you said, it's stupid complicated to take a cruiser-framed bike and make it into a superbike or "cafe racer". Not worth the money unless you find a cheap frame and forks to swap the motor over to.

So ham it up. look at period pictures of this bike and what was done to it and roll with it.
 
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.... I'm trying really hard to read about geometry before I come on here asking stupid questions but it's fucking complicated to me because I suck at math. I learn better by making small changes and feeling the difference.
The way to learn about motorcycle geometry is to ride lots of different bikes, like very expensive bikes from Italy, Spain and Germany, then you have something to compare the differences with.
 

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x2 on the laverda adjustables. I had them on my CX500 and loved them. Highly recommend.

That being said, remember your bike is a LTD, so a cruiser model. play into its strengths. Don't try to force it into something it isn't.
Had totally forgotten about those bars. Some bike I had years ago had those and they were a good thing in that you could swap the ride around with just a spanner.
Looking at your bike I think that one thing you might do is swap out the forks and get rid of the leading axle. When you do,do something such as that be sure that you compensate for the change in handling. Harleyesque bikes are for the freeways thus the fork extension. You change the forks and it will quicken the turn-in.
By the way what size fork tubes are on the LTD ? Another thought is go to the AllBalls web site and check what can be swapped to your motorbike. They are a great source as to what bits can be adapted to your bike. You may be able to swap the whole front end by just replacing bearings........same with wheels. And to add to this thought used 41 mm RSU front ends are really cheap. We have used the forks from Honda SuperHawks and Africa Twins on a handful of racers and Cafe Racers. There are tons of aftermarket parts out there and it's easy to make the brakes really work well, so there is another thought.
I would also find a more sporting version of you LTD and do some measurements. You need to know how much the factory really did change the basic frame geometry. Don't let everyone turn you off to the project. I have seen a number of that style of motorbike turned into pretty respectable Cafe Racers. The plus with those bikes is that they are stable as hell without head shake. Unstable is always the hard problem to fix making the thing turn quicker a far easier issue.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Had totally forgotten about those bars. Some bike I had years ago had those and they were a good thing in that you could swap the ride around with just a spanner.
Looking at your bike I think that one thing you might do is swap out the forks and get rid of the leading axle. When you do,do something such as that be sure that you compensate for the change in handling. Harleyesque bikes are for the freeways thus the fork extension. You change the forks and it will quicken the turn-in.
By the way what size fork tubes are on the LTD ? Another thought is go to the AllBalls web site and check what can be swapped to your motorbike. They are a great source as to what bits can be adapted to your bike. You may be able to swap the whole front end by just replacing bearings........same with wheels. And to add to this thought used 41 mm RSU front ends are really cheap. We have used the forks from Honda SuperHawks and Africa Twins on a handful of racers and Cafe Racers. There are tons of aftermarket parts out there and it's easy to make the brakes really work well, so there is another thought.
I would also find a more sporting version of you LTD and do some measurements. You need to know how much the factory really did change the basic frame geometry. Don't let everyone turn you off to the project. I have seen a number of that style of motorbike turned into pretty respectable Cafe Racers. The plus with those bikes is that they are stable as hell without head shake. Unstable is always the hard problem to fix making the thing turn quicker a far easier issue.

Cheers
The fork tubes are 36mm, i don't really think I wanna go as far as changing the front end though. Cataclysm made me re-evaluate my priorities. I think I'm just gonna grow a beard and cut all the sleeves off my shirts and polish my chrome every weekend. So i can rock the skinny forks.

I threw some super bars on today:
Land vehicle Vehicle Bicycle handlebar Motor vehicle Motorcycle

It wasn't easy tucking that master cylinder in there. I'm gonna order a used master from a late year katana. I really liked the lever because it had a four position wheel to select lever travel. Where do you guys order really short brake hose? I need one that is about 12" long with banjos on both ends


Lol @ the previous owner's wiring for the rear turn signals:
Electrical wiring Automotive tire Gas Cable Motor vehicle

Do you see that four-way!!!??? Four spades taped together. I'm gonna save a lot of weight when I remove three of those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 · (Edited)
you just listed the strengths: "Its a raked out *** bike designed to haul fat chicks on the back. The motor and the brakes are only good thing about this bike"

There's the universal things to improve the bike: suspension, braces, brakes/brake lines, tires, bearings/bushings, ignition etc...
But then you lean in to the weird 80s japanese cruiser/muscle bike thing and you OWN IT. Make that bike look the part.
Like you said, it's stupid complicated to take a cruiser-framed bike and make it into a superbike or "cafe racer". Not worth the money unless you find a cheap frame and forks to swap the motor over to.

So ham it up. look at period pictures of this bike and what was done to it and roll with it.
I forgot the chrome. The chrome is it's greatest asset. Mags are cool to. Now it needs pegs and a gyro
 

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If I were you.... after doing all the basic performance and reliability upgrades... I would take style inspiration from the current Japanese vintage cruiser scene... they've got a neat look thats a cross between American 70s Harleys and bosozoku
 

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The fork tubes are 36mm, i don't really think I wanna go as far as changing the front end though. Cataclysm made me re-evaluate my priorities. I think I'm just gonna grow a beard and cut all the sleeves off my shirts and polish my chrome every weekend. So i can rock the skinny forks.

I threw some super bars on today: View attachment 106483
It wasn't easy tucking that master cylinder in there. I'm gonna order a used master from a late year katana. I really liked the lever because it had a four position wheel to select lever travel. Where do you guys order really short brake hose? I need one that is about 12" long with banjos on both ends


Lol @ the previous owner's wiring for the rear turn signals: View attachment 106484
Do you see that four-way!!!??? Four spades taped together. I'm gonna save a lot of weight when I remove three of those.
Hipster,
You can go on line and get the bits to make your own. By doing this you can at least clock the ends (Banjos) the way you need them so as to not put things in a bind. Goodridge has everything you'll need and then you will have learned a skill so you can build any brake or clutch line you will ever need. may even have a 12 " line in my spares box but doesn't seem long enough. You also need to be sure the master-cylinder on your bike and the Katana are the same bore. I'm betting that they're not. Doesn't your bike have a single front disc while the Katana's is a two caliper set-up ? We also have a big box full of all kinds of brake bits (calipers, rear masters and front master-cylinders) let me know and I'll take a look. Also ask others on the forum what the may have around. Most are like me and are making improvments so there's used bits galore.

Rich
 

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Say what? ... if you are into buying hot motorcycle parts maybe, otherwise :unsure: how do you figure that?
TR,
Sometimes I must admit, I do get lost in your verbiage. "HOT MOTORCYCLE PARTS" ? The self respecting motorbike thief would never pluck up something such as a 25 year Honda Superchicken or for heaven's sake a Honda Africa Twin a motorbike most folks have never even heard of.
I'm afraid that my only response to the above post is "Say what ? " WHAT ! o_O
 

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I can link him to a nice reproduction RSU fork setup with a yoke setup for about 5000 new zealand $
Parts to service the forks he has now is going to cost him several hundreds of $ in OEM parts

Used forks don't come pre serviced and "cheap" unless they are stolen goods, they simply do not fall off the back of the local motorcycle fork delivery truck. Fork oil is going to cost stupid money on its own, What part of complete front motorcycle fork replacement to a much larger size is "cheap" unless it's one of the 50 something thousand motorcycles stolen annually in the USA alone. Those are called "hot" motorcycles and a huge chunk of them are thrived only for parts. "self respecting motorbike thief" is an oxymoron if they had any self respect they wouldn't thieve motorcycles, reality is they will steal anything they can until they get caught. We seen "cheap" front ends come through here before and you could clearly see damage where the ignition switch was removed with a hammer and a screwdriver.
You got a front end to sell him "cheap" ?
 

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I can link him to a nice reproduction RSU fork setup with a yoke setup for about 5000 new zealand $
Parts to service the forks he has now is going to cost him several hundreds of $ in OEM parts

Used forks don't come pre serviced and "cheap" unless they are stolen goods, they simply do not fall off the back of the local motorcycle fork delivery truck. Fork oil is going to cost stupid money on its own, What part of complete front motorcycle fork replacement to a much larger size is "cheap" unless it's one of the 50 something thousand motorcycles stolen annually in the USA alone. Those are called "hot" motorcycles and a huge chunk of them are thrived only for parts. "self respecting motorbike thief" is an oxymoron if they had any self respect they wouldn't thieve motorcycles, reality is they will steal anything they can until they get caught. We seen "cheap" front ends come through here before and you could clearly see damage where the ignition switch was removed with a hammer and a screwdriver.
You got a front end to sell him "cheap" ?
May be true up north but we picked up three sets of those Showa forks for about $100 each USD because there were a bunch of quick Hondas that were using RSU forks and guys were swapping them out for USD ones. Not to mention that it can't cost anymore to go through a set of 41 mm Showas as it will to go through his 36 mm ones he has and that's if he can find the bits. If I had a set of forks to sell him I'd give him the damn triples because they're not worth much except the cost to ship them There also must be a truck load of motorbikes using the Nissin brakes that go with those forks (like the CBR929) so we are ordering used ones for 25 USD and a rebuild kit.
Cheers
 

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Ah, so cheap used RSU forks come off race bikes where the racers sell them off for the price of just the bushings because they are fitting USD forks so they can go race open modified class and you are telling us that's the reason RSU forks are cheap, not because 51000 motorcycles are stolen in your country every year. :unsure: I totally believe that
 
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