Author Topic: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK  (Read 18038 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline BRT-GTR

  • Brian
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« on: July 07, 2013, 03:26:53 PM »
Hi All,----- New to Forums and finding my way

I am returning to the addictive Bridgestone fold after 42 years having owned a 68 350 GTR (one of only 19 or 29 imported to the UK by Bill Smith, depends which article you read) between 1969 and 1971. I always regretted selling it but needed a car for work and couldn't afford both.

Managed to get hold of one and a half GTRs and should be able to put together a runner. These are DK's US imports from last year but I believe they went through a few hands before they got to me and could have been looted of some of the better or rarer parts. (You can always sell them back to me, you know who you are). It will not look as good as Ziggies restoration to start with but given time and a lot help from you guys , it may one day.
Done a lot of research online and relearned most of  the issues with the GTR. Am a reasonably competent engineer  but don't have a lot of machinery, lathe etc. Have got the manual and parts list which are great when you have a box full of miscellaneous bolts. Worked out where most of them go,but great variation in washer diameters. I may have to ask you some very simple questions to get it right. Can anyone tell me the length of the grab handle spacer on the back suspension position, I estimate 24mm. Scrounged a lovely piece of polished stainless tube to make one.

Would appreciate making direct contact with UK GTR owners by phone or email or whatever. A visit to see a restored machine would be a great help. I'm near Blackpool in the North West. Any recommendation for Companies that do plating, spraying and other services, supplies  needed would also help. I have not owned a bike for many years and am out of touch. Will need some small parts but US postage charges do make them expensive. I envy our US colleagues who seem to have a constant supply of NOS parts and machines coming on the market.

Quick Tip -  You can greatly improve the operation of the dip switch by using a small flat screwdriver to lever up the inner edge of the slots that the ball drops into. Try and curl these up, this puts the ball on the start of a ramp, try not to push down the outer edges of the slot, the slider will then hit them. The real problem is the slots are too wide and the ball sits too deep, it cannot climb out when the switch is pushed. No wonder they are considered delicate. Don't take the switch apart unless you can reassemble a swiss watch blindfolded, it can be done but its very fiddly (voice of experience). A quick dip in kerosene while moving the slider should clean out any dirt and dry grease.     

It is great to be back in the Bridgestone fold, I've always liked machines that are different (lack of self confidence, insecurity ?? you decide) and appreciate good engineering. I will write up my memories of the orignal bike in due course, some good some bad.

I look forward to being part of the Stone community again.

Regards to all, Brian
Started with nothing, still got most of it left.





Unspoiled by progress.

Offline BS Mechanic

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Expert Registered Bridgestone Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2013, 05:26:51 PM »
Brian,  Great to have you return to Bridgestones!  There's lots of informaiton on the site.  Post just about any question and someone will have an answer based on knowledge and experience.  Searching in the past posts also turns up discussions and help on whatever you need to find.

Post some pictures if possible, everyone enjoys seeing what others are working with and watch the progress as a bike comes together.

 Spacer in question is 19.8mm long, a match to the spacer in the upper shock eyes so you can put the shocks in the vertical position with minimum shuffling of hardware.  The outer diameter of the spacer is 18mm.

Offline ziggy stardust

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 661
    • Classic Japanese Restorations
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2013, 04:23:58 AM »
Hey Brian, welcome.

Have a look on here http://bridgestonemotorcycleparts.com/index.php?action=gallery;su=user;cat=92;u=1350 photos should be of some use as a reference, information as well in most cases.

If you have any questions just post or if you should want I'm available by email, I'm from the north west as well.

Z
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 04:28:07 AM by ziggy stardust »
I am only responsible for what I say, not for how you interpret it.

Offline redimport

  • Ray
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Bridgestone Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 119
    • bsrestoration
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2013, 05:26:53 AM »
Mornin Brian,

Welcome !

I am across the pond in Ireland for my sins - http://bridgestonemotorcyclerestoration.com

I have reproduction parts / some NOS stuff and used stuff that can be cleaned up and made right.

later .. ray

+ 353-87-2420244

Offline disc_valve

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Expert Registered Bridgestone Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 406
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2013, 06:50:39 AM »
Hi, Brian,

Welcome back to the world of Bridgestone. You must be one of the few UK owners who owned a GTR when they were new. I had a 90 Deluxe in those days when I was a spotty youth. There were three other 90s and three 175s around where I was living then (Plymouth) but no 350s. Instead, I had to drool over magazine pics of the GTR, and I didn't see one "in the flesh" until 1981 when I came across Fred Briggs' GTR at a show.

I've owned my GTR since 1985, and bought it already restored in the standard red and chrome (I had no proper workshop facilities or restoration experience then). I refurbished myself it second time around back in 1999, and decided to do it in a 1971 style scheme in Candy Blue. I like blue bikes and everyone else seemed to be producing red GTRs.

I can't profess to know everything, but I've been running Bridgestones for 30 years plus and I'll try and answer any questions you have.

Good luck,

Graham Weeks
« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 07:33:00 AM by disc_valve »

Offline BRT-GTR

  • Brian
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2013, 03:45:03 PM »
Thanks for the welcome guys, its nice to be amongst people with the same interest.

Thanks BS Mechanic, With regards to the short spacer, did its length not also account for the width of the washers either side of the suspension unit eye. Surely it would bend the handle in if the washers are'nt added . I told you I would be asking simple questions.

Yes I was very lucky with buying the original GTR in 1969. I had ridden an Aermacchi 250 Ala Verde (still got) for 5 years and decided it was time to move up. Like you Graham I had drooled over pictures of the GTR in CYCLE magazine but never dreamed I would even see one in the UK . So when I spotted one 12 months old at a local bike dealers I haggled and managed to buy it with help from Bank of Dad. I was also fortunate to live in Chester where Bill Smith the importer was based although I didn't know that when I bought the bike. So it was all a series of lucky coincidences. Beautiful bike but I did have the usual problems.

Ziggy, I got the impression you were darn Sarth, yes I would like to make contact, where do I find your email address

Regards, Brian
Unspoiled by progress.

Offline Bikenstein

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 787
  • I Hate Electronic Ignition!
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2013, 04:15:03 PM »
 Brian, Happy to see another stoner join. I never had any problems with my old 68 back in the day even though I rode it hard (drag racin, wheelies, and high speed runs). I wore the sprockets, chain and rear wheel out pretty quick. Just curious to hear your version of problems and issues with the 350 as I'm  gatherin up parts to build one now. You might touch on somethin I ain't considered yet. Thanks for the tip on the switch. Just got a center stand and a very nice rear fender today. I gotta get busy as soon as I get a few more parts. Welcome to the site, the best Bridgestone community there is.
keep it between the ditches

Offline BS Mechanic

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Expert Registered Bridgestone Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 264
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2013, 04:29:16 PM »
Brian,  I believe You're correct, the washers go with the shock if you reposition it.  I'll take a picture when I get a chance this evening.

You can also see the assembly by the configuration of the parts manual, pages 25, 32 and 40.  
By the way, one of the best features of this site is the manuals and parts lists books, available for free!
The trail is to them is:
Manuals/Articles
   Manuals
    Service, Parts, Owners etc.

The parts manuals in particular are quite accurate and helpful for assembly, much better than most such manuals I've used.  Maybe not 100% perfect, but very close!

« Last Edit: July 08, 2013, 04:36:04 PM by BS Mechanic »

Offline ziggy stardust

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 661
    • Classic Japanese Restorations
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2013, 06:40:53 PM »
Brian, I am living down south but not where they talk like that, more like 'I now live in South Wales I do'. Got a relocation package when the company I work for decided to close the factory at Westhoughton. No regrets as we love it down here.

Anyway you can find most members email addresses here http://bridgestonemotorcycleparts.com/index.php?action=mlist;sa=all;start=z#letterz unless they are shy or have something to hide. :)

No problem email me if you want.

Z
I am only responsible for what I say, not for how you interpret it.

Offline Bikenstein

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 787
  • I Hate Electronic Ignition!
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2013, 09:35:02 PM »
Ziggy, I'm shy sometimes and definitely wanna hide a few things from the general public. ;D Brian, you can also just click on their name most anywhere and it will take you to their summary page and their email address if listed.
keep it between the ditches

Offline ziggy stardust

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 661
    • Classic Japanese Restorations
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2013, 03:26:31 AM »
Bikenstein shy? Don't think so. What are you hiding, I promise I won't tell? :-X

Z
I am only responsible for what I say, not for how you interpret it.

Offline william anderson

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Full Bridgestone Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 60
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #11 on: July 09, 2013, 06:41:00 PM »
hi      mr  biken      stine were you once a dealer for one of the other brands an now in the witness protection plan
« Last Edit: July 09, 2013, 06:43:01 PM by william anderson »
william anderson

Offline Bikenstein

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 787
  • I Hate Electronic Ignition!
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #12 on: July 09, 2013, 11:50:36 PM »
Ya'll are makin me blush
keep it between the ditches

Offline old smokey

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 685
odd
« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2013, 10:40:18 PM »
Bikenstein has probably been runnin' his smoker again.
'67 350 GTR undergoing repairs with a '75 Yamaha TX500 front end

Offline Bikenstein

  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 787
  • I Hate Electronic Ignition!
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2013, 12:45:30 AM »
Maybe, but what goes on in my lab stays in my lab.
keep it between the ditches

Offline BRT-GTR

  • Brian
  • Trade Count: (0)
  • Master Registered Bridgestone Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 776
Re: New (Old Bridgestone guy) in UK
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2013, 03:27:57 PM »
Hi Guys
Thanks for all your comments, help and the humour. I can see I'm going to enjoy myself here. Final comments on this thread?, I'll use the chat forum in future.

Bikenstein, (Great title) The problems I had with the original bike were 1) Break up of crankshaft flywheel end seal which took out a good barrel ( Seem to remember I replaced the barrel as part of an insurance claim when the bike was stolen and recovered with some damage- don't ask, long time ago).  2) It went on to one pot one night when I was taking my then girlfriend home. Switched the tank to reserve - 2nd pot didn't fire. Cleaned the plugs, good spark - still wouldn't fire. Dumped the girlfriend and pushed it 3 miles home. Imagine my surprise when I whipped the heads off and turned it over. One piston moved and the other didn't. Broken crank centre!!!! It turned out there had been a recall for faulty radius machining on one of the crank centre parts and the previous owner had not taken the bike in to Bill Smiths. Luckily he honoured the recall and replaced / repaired crank at no cost. She is still my wife. I suppose those were the main problems. 3) It never really did pull cleanly to 8000rpm but would load up and four stroke despite everything else being spot on. I have read somewhere that the English importer ( Bill Smith) was probably never advised to reduce the oil injection and install 130 main jets after run-in,so this was almost certainly true. Hope that helps and I'm still married. See you in the lab
Ziggy  - Thanks for contact invitation. Don't think my key board has Welsh.
Graham - Have found your Bridgestone dating article very useful. Mine were built, 918, July 67 and 6003, June 68. They must have been churning them out as fast as they could during this period (Over 5000 GTRs in 11 months, more than half the total production).Later bike should have all the factory mods, clutch etc apart from float pin mod which I can do.
Wind it up
Thanks everyone , WILL POST SOME PICCIES, Brian
Unspoiled by progress.

 


Gallery


Views:14
Comments (0)
By: harleywaynecycles

Views:16
Comments (0)
By: harleywaynecycles

Views:12
Comments (0)
By: harleywaynecycles

Views:6
Comments (0)
By: harleywaynecycles

Classifieds

Frame etc Bridgestone 350

Price: $0.00
Date: 11/15/2018 11:52 pm
Time Left: 498d 13h 49m
Frame etc Bridgestone 350

Price: $0.00
Date: 11/15/2018 11:51 pm
Time Left: 498d 13h 48m
[ebay] ‘67 175 DT - no reserve
Price: $0.00
Date: 11/09/2018 10:20 am
Time Left: 82d 0h 17m
Assorted Bridgestone Parts

Price: $0.00
Date: 10/16/2018 11:09 am
Time Left: 58d 0h 6m

Recent Downloads added

11/01/1967 Factory Service Letter, RH shift/LH Brake conversion

Rating: (None)
Filesize: 92.56KB
Date: August 03, 2018, 02:49:08 AM
11/01/1967 Factory Service Letter, RH shift/LH Brake conversion

Rating: (None)
Filesize: 142.24KB
Date: August 03, 2018, 02:44:36 AM
350 GTR Wiring Diagram
Rating: *****
Filesize: 8604.23KB
Date: July 29, 2018, 12:29:25 PM
Bridgestone Motorcycles

Rating: (None)
Filesize: 3561.91KB
Date: June 05, 2018, 04:42:13 PM

Powered by EzPortal