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VOC of North America


More Tips and How-tos

Wheel spindles: The front spindle should be inserted from the left side, with the nut on the brake side. At the rear, always make sure that the sprocket-side nut is fully tightened first, and do not overtighten the spindle, as this will damage the speedo drive.

Primary chaincase: This is mounted by four screws to the gearbox, and by a central bolt to the crankcase. The screws are through slotted holes to allow for gearbox movement for tension adjustment. These screws should be fully tightened, but be careful ‘cos they can snap off just below the shoulder. They are then secured either by locking wire (the round headed ones) or by a pair of double tab washers (for the hex headed ones). In both cases they are secured in horizontal pairs, not vertical pairs, so as not to interfere with the clutch release mechanism.

The centre bolt must be fitted with a tubular distance piece so that it can be fully tightened. There is a spacer tube to keep the chaincase halves apart, but there should also be a ½" dia tubular spacer slipped onto the bolt behind the large diameter washer. The length of this inner spacer should be such that when the bolt is fully tightened, the large washer is tightly clamping the chaincase, but is not being dished. This smaller distance piece is not illustrated in the parts book, but it is listed.

Engine shock-absorber: The nut on the crankshaft must be fully tightened. But before doing so, check that there is a washer fitted to the inside recess. The threads on the crankshaft do not (cannot, indeed) go all the way to the shoulder, so this washer is needed so that the nut only engages the fully formed thread. The same thing could be achieved by counterboring the nut, but a separate washer is cheaper! The nut should be fully tightened and secured with a split-pin.

Rear wheel nuts: With the full width hub there is a potential serious hazard. Should a wheel nut come loose and work its way out of the tube, it will catch on the speedo drive and rotate it with the wheel. This will wind up the speedo cable until it yanks the handlebars sharply to the right, resulting, almost inevitably, in a spill. The obvious solution is to make sure these three nuts are kept tight, but as added insurance, you can get some plastic plugs from your local hardware store that seal of the end of the tubes. You’ll still have to check the nuts occasionally for tightness, but the plugs will stop them falling out.

Clutch lever: If you have trouble with a clutch which does not free as well as it should, check the centre-to-centre distance of the handlebar lever pivot and the cable nipple. This should be at least 1 1/16". Anything less will not give sufficient movement in the cable.

Rear suspension: The Woodhead-Monroe spring/damper units last a long time, but eventually the seals will wear, the oil will leak out, and damping will disappear. That’s time for replacements… or is it? DO NOT THROW THEM AWAY! We can rebuild these using modern dampers by Works Performance. External appearance is unchanged, but you have the benefit of modern suspension that will never need to be replaced again, because the WP items are fully serviceable. If you prefer, we can supply the inserts for you to install, but you’ll need a certain level of skill, and at least a lathe. Unfortunately, we cannot do this repair on the Girling units used on later models.

Spark plug: Let’s face it, Velos are not the easiest bikes to kickstart! One of the reasons for poor starting on the aluminium head models may be the use of an extended point spark plug. The plug is positioned very close to the inlet valve, and as Velos usually like a very rich mixture for starting, the extended tip will be liberally sprayed with petrol, and will cease sparking. As we can’t find Lodge 3HLN or KLG FE100 plugs any more, we recommend the NGK B8ES (or B7ES on the MSS and MAC).

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