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  #1  
Old 8 Jun 2012
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Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph

At last 22 years after my first visit I am back in North America for a 3 month tour of Canada and the US. Under normal circumstances I would have brough my tried and tested 1991 BMW R80GS which has taken me to a few places before and has proven pretty reliable, but after plying me with alcohol a friend suggested my 1979 Triumph 750 would be a better choice, against my better judgement I agreed.
I have had this bike from new and it has had the odd mechanical hiccup in the 109,000 miles that I have travelled on it, most of these were through my inexperience at the time, I hope the overhaul I gave it before leaving will have ironed out potential problems.
Yesterday I retreaved the bike from the port in Halifax, Nova Scotia with the help of David George aka Lightkeeper, a Local GSer and friend of Tiffany Coates who put me in touch, many thanks to him and his trailer as the throttle cable was badly frayed despite seeming to be ok before it left. That is now fixed and the bike packed for a departure tomorrow morning.
The photo is taken outside of David's house in Peggy's cover which is a beautiful fishing village on the Nova Scotia coast.
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Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv1.jpg  

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  #2  
Old 10 Jun 2012
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Things don't always turn out as you expect

I left my host David's house in Peggy's cove in light rain, the forecast was for it brightening up later but it only rained harder for the rest of the day. I had hoped to reach the US border but after covering 300 miles I realised that this was not going to happen, a problem with my bike had also raised its head in that it had used an awful lot of oil, even more than you would expect for an old Triumph.
The bike was attracting quite a lot of attention and at two petrol stations people had mentioned a chap in Saint John called Gary Cooper who is the local British bike specialist, I sought him out and he told me to bring the bike down tomorrow and we could take a look at it. I booked into the nearby camp site and was on his door step the next morning straight away setting about dismantelling the top end finding the piston rings in need of replacement, I hope this is the cause of the problem.
That afternoon we went out for a ride in the company of Jeff, a friend of Gary's on a BSA A10, Gary was on a 1949 Ariel 600 and I was riding his Triumph Bonneville that he had lent me. At last the sun was shining and I was able to enjoy some of the great Canadian scenery that is around here.
Gary, Coop to his friends, tells me that the parts will be 2 or 3 days so I am about to become familiar with the streets of Saint John while I wait.
Attached Thumbnails
Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv2.jpg  

Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv3.jpg  

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  #3  
Old 11 Jun 2012
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Useful Canadian terms

I have picked up some useful Canadian terms,
a loonie is a one dollar coin
a toonie is a two dollar coin
and a Brit is a kipper, because we are spineless, two faced and have no guts!
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Last edited by mark manley; 11 Jun 2012 at 00:11. Reason: more info
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  #4  
Old 13 Jun 2012
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Lightbulb Canadian Stuff

Hey Mark,
wait until you discover Tim Horton's, they are a Canadian coffee and doughnut shop chain (don't worry, they also serve tea). You'll soon find yourself unable to resist their doughnuts.

Good luck with your repairs and I hope the rain stops see you further down the road.
Tiffany
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On the road from...I'm not sure any more
http://www.tiffanystravels.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAUhV1r-kUo
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  #5  
Old 14 Jun 2012
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I have had a fairly pleasant couple of day exploring Saint John, sitting in the campsite reading and planning my route ahead with a Texan couple who are towing a trailer with two sidecar outfits behind their motorhome. Yesterday my parts arrived and I set about putting the bike back together, by 6 o'clock it was running and I came back this morning to give it a few finishing touches.
After more than 30 years of ownership I thought that I knew all there was about putting an old Triumph back together but between Gary and his assistant, apprentice as she calls herself, Dakota I learnt a few more tricks.
I have also found out that there is a vintage bike meeting near here on Saturday and am hanging around to ride up to it with a few locals, it should be a good day out and a chance to test the bike out before heading off.
Gary's business is called Old English motorcycles but he will also work on older Harleys, Indian Enfields which he used to sell and older Japanese bikes, in his words anything that has a kickstart, I will put it up on the recommended repair shops thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiffany View Post
Hey Mark,
wait until you discover Tim Horton's, they are a Canadian coffee and doughnut shop chain (don't worry, they also serve tea). You'll soon find yourself unable to resist their doughnuts.

Tiffany
I have already been introduced to Tim Hortons by David in Halifax, I am particularly partial to their blueberry muffins.

Gary "Coop" and Dakota outside his shop.
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Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv4.jpg  

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  #6  
Old 15 Jun 2012
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On the road again!

Great to see you back on the road again!
Now that there is no rush to get to Oregon,Take your time and see all that you can take in!
You don't want to rush it anyway now that you are driving on the proper side of the road!
Have a safe trip! David.
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  #7  
Old 17 Jun 2012
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At last yesterday I actually got to see some of Canada from the seat of my bike, several of us rode up to a small vintage bike show near Fredericton, about 100 miles away. It was a steady ride along small roads, we were following Coop on his Ariel so speeds never exceeded 55 mph, often following or in sight of the Saint John river which was very scenic.
The sun was shining which brought out a lot of people and some nice old bikes, there were some Harleys from the 1940's which you would not have seen at such a small meeting in the UK. The was probably over 100 bikes including people who had come to look taking the organisers by surprise, it had rain the previous year and numbers were much less.
My Triumph was getting its fair share of attention, it seems that there were fewer of this model imported into Canada than the US so are quite rare. We returned along the same route avoiding the main road stopping for petrol and coffee along the way.
This was also a test ride to see how my bike was after its top end rebuild, but it did not go well in that respect, oil was still being consumed at a large rate with some smoke from the right hand exhaust, I will be taking a closer look at it again today, !
Attached Thumbnails
Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv5.jpg  

Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv6.jpg  

Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv7.jpg  

Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv8.jpg  

Canada and the US on a '79 Triumph-adv9.jpg  

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  #8  
Old 27 Jun 2012
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A week of frustration

I have had a bit of a frustrating week or so, after waiting until last Friday for new gaskets Gary phoned the supplier to be told "oh we forgot to post your order" it finally arrived yesterday. I have spent my time exploring Saint John which is quite an interesting place with a lot of maritime history and some nice old buildings. The port area has been redeveloped as they seem to be in many port cities around the world and there are a couple of nice parks. The weather has been good which more than can be said of home where there has been record rainfall, so camping has been very pleasant.
Apart from the great bunch of people in Old English motorcycles where I have been working on my bike I have had the pleasure of the company of JR and Avanell who have been entertaining me in their motorhome, I am permitted to tell you that Avanell is 81 and still rides many miles a year with her sidecar outfit, she did drive me down to Arby's in it one night which was a good experience.
I managed to take the bike out for a test ride last night and today, it has always run well, the problem has been excessive oil consumption even for an old Brit. The problem is certainly better with much less smoking and less oil burnt, I hope with a few more miles to bed the new piston rings in it will get better still and I can carry on.
It is Canada day on Sunday, I have no idea what if any celebrations will be taking place but I will stay around for them and give the bike a good shake down in the mean time.
The photo is JR and Avanell with their RV and outfits.


And a couple of the sights of Saint John



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Old 26 Jul 2012
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sorry to hear about all the problems your having. Hopefully you'll be on your sooner rather than later. Like the trumpet by the way. Keep up the posts, look forward to reading more.
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