The plan was simple. Totally rebuild the bike in three days. Well not quite. See about 40 Mm I’d decided the steering head bearings needed replacing, so I went out and bought the bearings. About 45 Mm I decided I was dreaming. Also when I bought the bike about 3 years ago I thought the battery was a little sus. It finally got to the point of being too sus last week. Add to that an air filter needing cleaning, fork oil getting second hand, clip on geometry needing checking and a very grubby bike. It needed a bit of attention. So the plan was to completely strip body from the bike and give it a good clean and then do all the mechanical work that needed doing. With a 3 day long weekend it promised to be a very casual time. And mostly it was. On Saturday I stripped the bike, leaving the front end on at this point. I didn’t get round to cleaning it that day, due to other household duties. On Sunday the household duties continued, with 3 ton of pine chip arriving on the driveway. Never the less I managed to get the bike clean by the middle of the day then proceeded to strip the front end. Then the trouble started. Firstly I notice the lower taper roller has a seal around it. Nice. Hang on why won’t it come off? Hmm. OK so it’s Sunday afternoon and there is no hope of getting one of these seals and I can’t get it off without taking the inner race off. Now those that have done this know the dilemma I am in. You basically have to heat or grind this inner race out. To do this without wrecking the seal is going to be impossible. I should add that we are a 1 car, 1 bike family (well one registered and rideable bike) and I need to get to work on Tuesday. So now I need to get the inner race off and minimize the damage to the seal. This eliminates heat and leaves me with the die-grinder. Working away carefully for about an hour sees the bearing off, a slight mark on the bearing seat and a very second hand, but possibly serviceable seal. Then things get worse. I go to slip the lower bearing on and discover it is 5mm too small. Damn! In retrospect I should have checked, a) before I started and b) before wrecking the lower bearing. Now I really am phucked. So the decision was made to take a day off on Tuesday as I am owed a couple of days anyway. This gives me a day and a half to causally go about the other stuff on the bike and then a full day to do the steering head bearings and get the bike back together. So knowing the bearing will be simple, on Tuesday (after playing house dad and getting everyone to school and work) I phone around for the seal, knowing I would have to be lucky. One dealer tried to tell me there is no seal. Another said “No worries. 6 weeks out of China”. So it looked like I would have to salvage the old one. So off I go to get the bearing. Just for sh!ts and giggles I should the bearing salesman the seal thinking there is no way they will have it. He walks off into the light and comes back and says “it’s part of the bearing”. What? I’ve never seen a tapper roller with a seal before. So it looks like I owe the parts sales guy at Procycles and apology for being curt with him. The bearing guy doesn’t have one in stock but he can get it by 3.30 that arvo. So this gives me the right bearing and seal, but by the time I pick everyone up again I won’t get back to the bike until about 5.30pm. Also I can’t work after about 8.00pm because kids need to get to bed. So it’s do-able, but there won’t be any mucking around. It was all going well until I went to put the front wheel back on. Then I realized the forks where the wrong way round. So I swapped them. Then I realized I was right the first time, so I pulled them again. Then I realized I was right the second time and re-installed them again. Not a biggy, but frustrating as lining up triple clamps, clip-ons cables and wires and then getting fork height and tightening pinch bolts all at the same time can be little tricky. With the front wheel back on I decided to set up my clip-ons and controls. For that it needed to come of the stands. Now the Triumph is a biatch when it comes to finding good spots to put fixed stands. It was on a factory stand at the rear, but being single sided, that is not terribly secure. I had a bottle jack under it and a fixed stand in an OK position. I had a second fixed stand about 2mm short of a good spot, there “just in case”. The front wheel is about 4 inches off the ground. So the first thing I do is go around and put out the “just in case stand”. As I did so the thought that went through my head was “that was slightly engaged”. The next thought was “You stupid farking carnt” with the bike now lying on the garage floor. With the clip-ons being only nipped up and the side fairing being off, the damage was minimal. Being a fairing bracket and a slightly bent foot brake. The biggest biatch however is that the seat fell on the stand and is now ripped. After busting a poofer valve getting it up I got it back together not long after that and the bike feels pretty good. I still need to fine tune the front end as it felt quite twitchy in traffic this morning, but otherwise is running well. I’ve been maintaining vehicles for 25 years and I still insist on teaching myself lessons the hard way.