Still More Tips
Brake rod locknut: There should be a ¼" BSF locknut behind the adjuster nut on the rear brake actuating rod. Without this, it is possible for the rod to rotate, and unscrew itself from the trunnion in the brake pedal. Since both ends are threaded, you will not notice any change in the adjustment. The first you’ll know of it is when you press the pedal, and nothing happens! Even if you have the stoplight switch actuator clamped onto the rod (which would stop the rod unscrewing itself), the locknut is still necessary, as constant rotational movement of the rod will eventually wear the threads both in the trunnion, and perhaps especially, in the aluminium adjuster nut, causing them to strip.
Cracking tanks: Velo petrol tanks are prone to cracking around the cutout behind the steering head. This is invariably caused by the pannier sections of the tank “flapping”. There should be a strap across the underside of the front of the tank to prevent this. Check that you have one, and if not, get, or make, one, and fit it. It’s cheaper than getting the tank repaired!
Oil tanks on the spring frame model have a habit of cracking at the mounting brackets. There are two options which seem to cure this: (a) Rubber mount the tank, or (b) add a third mounting point. The latter is more permanent, but means brazing or welding extra brackets, and, of course, repainting! The best location for the extra bracket is on the top of the tank enabling it to be clipped to the diagonal sub-frame tube just above the tank. For a hidden mount, you need a bracket on the back of the tank allowing it to be bolted to the rear mudguard.
Chains: The side clearance for the rear chain on the 500s is very restricted, and many replacement chains are too wide to clear the primary chain case. It is best to stick to a chain with the narrower side plates, such as a Renold. These are readily available from us, or from Domiracer. By the way, the best way to adjust this chain is with the rear suspension halfway compressed, ie when the sprocket centres and the fork pivot are in a straight line. The free up-and-down play in that position should be ½" to ¾" at mid-run. With the suspension fully extended, you need at least 1¾" slack. An overtight chain will wear quickly, and will damage the sprockets and wheel and gearbox bearings. It may also bend the gearbox mainshaft. We recommend Renolds for the primary drive also, but some users have reported that Reginas (Reginae?) last longer. We’ll try to check this out, but the main contributary factor for chain life is, without doubt, lubrication! Keep the primary chain case topped up. Too much is better than not enough.
Adjusting chains: When adjusting the primary chain, always slacken the mounting bolt under the gearbox too. The shell may crack if you don’t. Similarly, when adjusting the rear chain, slacken the brake anchor arm bolt, otherwise the brake plate may break. And don’t forget to tighten them afterwards!
Telescopic forks: A few points here. First, if you are doing a rebuild, and getting parts powder-coated, rather than repainted, don’t include the fork sliders. These are soldered together, and the heat used in powder-coating will melt the solder, so if the sliders don’t actually fall apart, they will be severely weakened and will probably leak.
Second, because they are soldered together, these sliders are repairable. If the tube gets dented or damaged it can be taken out and either undented or replaced. Similarly, if a leak develops, the sliders can be taken apart, cleaned up, and resoldered. This again requires some expertise, but can be tackled at home if you have the skill and equipment. Otherwise we would be pleased to do the work for you.
Third, a fairly common problem, with a very easy solution, is having the tele forks stick at full-bump when taking an off-highway excursion (for whatever reason!). The design of the forks is such that at full compression, the fork tube and the damper tube form an hydraulic lock. At least, that’s the theory. What happens is that if the two tubes are not concentric, the fork tube gets wedged between the tapered part of the damper tube and the slider, and sticks there. If this happens to you, don’t grab crowbars and sledge hammers! All you need is a 5/16 BSW (3/8 BSF) spanner. Put the bike on the centre stand, and slightly slacken the nut underneath the fork end. ½ turn should be enough. If the forks don’t return to normal, slacken the one on the other leg similarly. These nuts hold the damper tubes, and what you are doing is allowing them to self-align with the fork tubes. Don’t forget to retighten them, but do so carefully, and they will remain aligned, and the forks will never stick on full bump again.
And while still on forks, we always put 120cc (4 fl oz) of oil in each leg, even when only single acting dampers are fitted. The oil Veloce called for was SAE20, but we use 10W/40 because at normal temperatures it has about the same viscosity as SAE20, but maintains that viscosity over a much wider temperature range.
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