The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
Gear Up! is a 2-DVD set, 6 hours! Which bike is right for me? How do I prepare the bike? What stuff do I need - riding gear, clothing, camping gear, first aid kit, tires, maps and GPS? What don't I need? How do I pack it all in? Lots of opinions from over 150 travellers! "This DVD will save you a fortune!"See the trailer here!
So you've done it - got inspired, planned your trip, packed your stuff and you're on the road! This section is about staying healthy, happy and secure on your motorcycle adventure. And crossing borders, war zones or oceans!
On the Road! is 5.5 hours of the tips and advice you need to cross borders, break down language barriers, overcome culture shock, ship the bike and deal with breakdowns and emergencies."Just makes me want to pack up and go!" See the trailer here!
Tire Changing!Grant demystifies the black art of Tire Changing and Repair to help you STAY on the road! "Very informative and practical." See the trailer here!
Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
"It has me all fired up to go out on my own adventure!" See the trailer here!
We're not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown a hobby into a full time job and a labour of love.
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Travel BooksMotorcycle and travel books to inspire and inform you!
DVDs - Watch and Learn!
Horizons Unlimited presents!
Achievable Dream The definitive guide to planning your motorcycle adventure! This insanely ambitious 2-year project has produced an informative and entertaining 5-part, 18 hour DVD series. "The ultimate round the world rider's how-to DVD!" MCN UK.
Collectors Box SetAll 5 DVDs with a custom printed slip case. "The series is 'free' because the tips and advice will save much more than you spend on buying the DVD's."
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Other Bikes TechFor Technical Questions on bikes not listed in the other forums. Questions comparing which bike is best etc go in the "Which Bike" forum.
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I'm on a 1968 Enfield Bullet (350cc), although my questions are probably fairly generic. So far I have come from India to Turkey, but the bike seems to have had enough now! On arrival here, it became apparent that it required a re-bore, but luckily I was carrying an over-sized piston and rings as spares.
The re-bore has now been done, but it still seems rather tight. To begin with, the piston was seizing every 5km (when the engine gets hot). After repeatedly waiting for it to cool down, and then continuing again, I have over the course of a few hours brought this distance up to about 20km. Since my experience of this is non-existent, and my mechanical knowledge barely any larger, my first question is: should I expect seizing initially after a re-bore? If so, how rapidly should the new piston wear in?
If, as I suspect, the cylinder needs to be bored out a bit more, how tight should the piston rings be when everything is cold? At the moment, the ends of the rings close tightly, presumably reflecting the fact that the piston only just fits inside the cylinder. Should there in fact be a small gap between the ends of the piston rings, to allow room for expansion of the piston? Actually, I've just found some specifications in the manual, where it says that the gap when new should be 0.015-0.020 inches, so perhaps I've just answered my own question. There's not much room for error, though, since the maximum permissible gap is 0.030 inches!
Any advice much appreciated, since I'll have to consider abandoning the bike if I can't fix it!
James, the specs on the piston ring end gap sound correct - just file them down until you have the correct gap. Be careful - the rings can break very easily - they are extremely brittle.
I put a file in a vise sticking out to the side, clamped so that it's vertical, hold the ring ends in your hand and file back and forth carefully and slowly, keeping the ring ends very square.
Take your end gap measurements at several places down the cylinder, using the piston to push the ring down and keep the ring square in the bore.
First of course you should check the piston clearance in the bore, but if there is zero ring gap that may be the whole problem.
There should also be a spec for the piston clearance, and where to check it - if not specified, check it on the front to back "thrust" sides of the piston at the bottom of the piston skirt, against various locations in the bore - (should be the same everywhere, if not the bore isn't round or it's tapered and you're in trouble.) Ideally you would use a wire gauge, but a narrow blade gauge will do, just add .0015" or so guesstimate to the measurement.
Somewhere between .002" and .005" clearance will be tolerable for that engine if you have no specs.
Any seize marks on the piston can be FILED off with a very fine file. They will probably be on the "corners" of the piston. Just file enough to remove the worst of the marks and get the surface flat and smooth again. DO NOT use sandpaper - it will leave grit in the piston material. You CAN sand the bore in desperate situations no worries.
WASH thoroughly all parts in gas and then warm soapy water to ensure it's all very clean. Oil the cylinder immediately after washing.
Finally, don't forget to check ignition timing, valve clearance, carb jets etc to ensure there is no excessive advance or lean condition causing overheating and seizing.
Many thanks Frode, and especially Grant for your detailed advice. It's interesting that you say that bad timing can cause overheating - I think that's what caused the problem in the first place. Unknown to me, a tappet guide had broken. I guess this happened in Iran when I suddenly had to make a major adjustment to the timing - I thought it was just because the bolts holding down the rotating backplate of the points had come loose, and it had adjusted itself, but now I know that it's because a tappet was wobbling about.
Anyway, I haven't managed to sort out my problems. It was clear when the barrel come off again that the re-bore had been no good. It was done on a lathe, which I now know is a recipe for disaster - shame the mechanic had it done that way, particularly since he knew that there was a re-bore machine in the next town. Had it properly ground out there, and filed the piston as recommended, so it was looking rosy.
Back on the bike, it turned out that this wasn't the only problem. The last piston seizure had indeed felt particularly severe, and it seems that something in the crank assembly broke. I've been carefully considering all the options (including a kind offer to help in Istanbul, if I got the bike there, by an English guy contacted by the Istanbul HU community).
However, weighing up the costs and time implications, I have reached the difficult decision that it is better for me to abandon the bike. It's heart-wrenching, but I have to be back in England before too long, and even if I spent the several hundred dollars required to get the parts here, I'm still not convinced the bike could be fixed, and I would run into severe time troubles, having already spent over three weeks trying to sort it out.
I'm currently trying to persuade Turkish customs at the Iranian border to take my bike and relieve me of the need to leave the country with it (it's in my passport), which of course is easier said than done!
A sad end to what has been a great trip, but I'm sure there will be others.
Northerners! The weather outside is frightful, so what better time to start planning your next adventure! To help you get started, for February we're taking 30% off the Get Ready! DVD in the HU Store! Remember to use Coupon Code 'GETREADY' on your order when you checkout.
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
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Membership - Show you're proud to be a Horizons Unlimited Traveller!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events such as this one (18 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or
to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and
knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.