If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Good Service

I like to report good service when I get it - people are quick enough to blame someone when things aren't perfect, so I like to redress the balance a bit when I can.

The Bonneville has one striking design fault - the bolts used to fasten the seat. Getting the seat off is a fairly frequent task - you need to do this to have access to the battery, for one thing, and it needs to come off if you want to remove the petrol tank. The seat fastens in the usual way, with a tongue that slides under the end of the tank and two catches that locate on the frame. It is all held in place by two bolts that fasten the rear of the seat to the frame. Triumph have designed it so that these bolts are hidden away under the back of the seat, about 3 inches from daylight. It's not hard work to get an allen key in there and twiddle them off, but it's a fiddly job and far harder than it needs to be.

So I have made up some better ones. Instead of dome-headed allen bolts which fit flush to the frame, I have made up some extended ones: two socket-headed screws with nuts Loctited at the shaft end of the thread. The bolts now show slightly just behind the seat and can be got at without bending down and squinting in the dark. And after loosening them a quarter turn with an allen key, they can be unscrewed by hand. With the original ones, they had to be unscrewed with the allen key all the way out, which risked scratching the paint on the mudguard and was an irritating fiddle. Here are the old and new bolts:

and here are the new ones in place. Neat, huh?

It's not a big deal in the scheme of things, but it makes life a little easier.

I was given the tip on a Triumph forum that I read, and did a bit of research online, as there is nowhere near here that stocks stainless fasteners in the kind of quantity that you need to be able to find a couple of 80mm M6 bolts with socket heads and matching flange nuts. Halfords, Homebase and Wickes are within striking distance, but only do packs of 6 or 10, and in all the common sizes that are the ones you don't need. And getting anything in stainless (which is all I would consider for the bike, unless in an emergency) is next to impossible.

So a big thanks to Stagonset, who will sell you any quantity you like (even very small orders like this) at very reasonable prices. The whole lot cost me £4.08, delivered to my door in a small (and re-usable!) jiffy bag. Ordered online late Thursday night, delivered Saturday morning. And they even emailed me to say they were on their way.

I'll be using them again, I'm sure.


  1. endemoniada_886 June 2010 at 00:03

    One of the things I really love about bikes is the way owners think about how to make them better. Not in the plastic fantastic aftermarket bling bolt-on sense, but in the genuine and often ingenious little improvements that make it just that fraction better a machine to live with.

    Any owner who not only uses their bike enough to identify such issues, but then takes the trouble to fix them earns my respect straightaway.

    It may not be a huge deal in engineering application terms, but philosophically it shows a good deal more than that. Top job, mate.


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