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Comet - Clutch, Kick Starter and Plug Recommendation

Pharquarx

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
Got the Comet out for a 40 mile run yesterday, up and down the toll way. Looks like I need to do some additional work (although, we are getting close on this deal). Need some advice as to how to approach the issues below (and yes, I already have Richardson, Stevens, the Rider's Manual, etc., but they are not workshop in nature. From the top:

There is some clutch slippage, I noticed it rather late in the run, around 30 miles when moving from third to fourth and back. Gear shifting is fine, but the clutch slips at 55+ miles per hour. How does one approach a clutch replacement?

When I got home, and let the beast cool down, I went to restart it and the kick starter does not engage. I have noticed previously that it felt "mushy" and am wondering if something has worn out? If I pull the clutch lever and push down on the kick starter, there is no resistance. I would assume that the kick start cover will need to be removed to address this and the clutch problem above. Is there oil or anything spring loaded behind the cover? What should I be looking for/examining as the source of the problem?

I have the Amal 229/L12 carb on the bike. I like the look, although I have a more modern monoblock that I could use. The installation is sound and I am able to tune the carb in accordance with Sid Bieberman's procedure under the carb section of www.thevincent.com. I have a BT-H magneto set at 34 degrees BTDC. I also have an Innovate Motorsports LM-1 air fuel ration gauge on the way and will use it to tune before I get the beast back on the road. My question is really spark plug related in that I am running a KLG FE70 plug because I like stock. It occurred to me that the KLG would have been appropriate for the lower octane (easier burning) motor fuel pool back in the 50s, but, should I be running a different plug for better performance for the 91 octane (harder to burn) California "Gucci" gasoline that I use today?

Thanks in advance for your input.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
No resistance on the kickstart lever with the clutch lever pulled in sounds normal.Unless it's in gear and the rear wheel is on the ground:eek:
How many friction plates do you have in your clutch,there should be 5.
Some Comets have ended up with Matchless/AJS clutches which have 3 or 4 plates,which can cause slip under acceleration(been there done that).
Not sure what you mean by 'Mushy',are the springs in good condition and wound pretty much down to the top of the cups?,,not enough spring pressure?
Change the clutch to a Conways conversion!? I still get 85mph 2 up with the standard Burman clutch and no slip although the up changes are a little slow if you don't want to crunch the gears..John
 

Pharquarx

Well Known and Active Website User
Non-VOC Member
P.S. - I forgot to mention that I have a spare complete Burman Gear box. Got it on ebay, had been under a bench for 40 years, seems to be very useable, rotates freely, no endplay, smells funny. Should I open it? Should I modify it with the Conway clutch? Should I just replace the box that is on the bike now? Please opine gentlemen.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
I went to restart it and the kick starter does not engage
I missed this when I first read your post.You will have to remove the gearbox outer cover to look at the starter ratchet and spring on the end of the mainshaft.,you may just be able to see it through the filler hole if you're lucky.The nut that holds the starter ratchet assy together also stops the mainshaft and clutch disappearing through the chaincase.If the spring breaks then the starter won't engage.
The smell in your spare box is most likely ancient grease.
 

bmetcalf

Well Known and Active Website User
VOC Member
the 91 octane (harder to burn) California "Gucci" gasoline that I use today?


OT, but unless your CR is over 8:1 or you have experienced pinging, 87 octane regular is just fine and cheaper.

Go ahead and take it apart, that way you get familiar with your machine.
 
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