The last tyres I had fitted there cost £20 each, which I didn't think was too bad. But that charge was for fitting tubeless tyes - tubed tyres cost £25 each, plus the comment "don't bother bringing your own tubes - I only fit tubes I have supplied + will fit new rim tapes" meant it was looking to be an expensive option, as I had already bought new tubes & didn't expect the rim tapes to be defective at 5 years old.
So Friday afternoon saw the front wheel out. The oversized front tyre literally fell off the beads when the air was released & didn't put up much of a fight to get it off the rim. The new Avon Roadrider 2 took a bit more effort fitting, mainly due to having a very stiff carcass compared to the Dunlop K70 that came off - getting the valve stem through the rim was the worst bit. While the Interceptor didn't need any attention to balancing (I left the OE rim weights in place & matched up the ContiGo! balance marks with the valve) the Classic's front wheel needed 30 grammes - no evident balance marks on the Avons & no previous balance weights present.
Took the opportunity to strip the pads from the caliper for a good clean out & regreased the speedo cable. All back together - minus a spurious spacer that had been added to the front wheel spindle - in a couple of hours.
Yesterday morning was forecast to be dry for a couple of hours then persistent rain, so the Interceptor & V7 were relegated to the drive under covers to make room inside the garage to work, rather than working on the drive. The 500s rear wheel came out easily (QD arrangement leaves the rear brake drum / sprocket in place) as the rear mudguard hinges up to give clearance.
Had to resort to G clamps to break the first bead on the oversized tyre, the second popped off easily. Inspection showed that the reason for the tight first bead was that the tube had been trapped under the bead for around 8-10" of the circumference on that side. I had noticed that the rear wheel wasn't running true while lubing the chain - the oversize tyre barely cleared the ground when on the main stand & rubbed on the ground over a portion of it's rotation. I had assumed that the wheel was out of true, but it seems it was the trapped tube preventing the tyre from seating properly.
Again had a bit of a fight getting the stiff Avon fitted, but properly located on the rim it runs true. 40 grammes weight needed opposite the valve, plus another 5 at 90 degrees to the valve to balance. Just got the tyre fitted on the drive when the rain started - as my steel up-and-over door collects rain & drops it into the garage when fully open I set it at angle, propped on a brush handle, to keep the drips out.
Stripped out the rear brake to clean the drum & shoes and lube the pivots, and took advantage of the improved access with the wheel out to mount the business end of a Nemo 2 chain oiler on the swing arm & route the pipe up to the handlebars. No dramas getting it all back together - the 500 is easier to work on than the Interceptor. While I have not yet had a ride on the new tyres, their effect was immediately apparent when pushing it around to get it back to where it lives in the garage - very much less effort required. Plus when it is on the main stand there is enough clearance under the tyre to pass my hand between it & the ground - who would have thought that fitting the OE recommended tyres would do that ?
I have rather got out of the habit of checking over second hand bikes, having chosen to buy new for more than 20 years. Maybe I have been unlucky with this one having had a "fiddling" previous owner, but I have been suprised at how much "putting back to standard" has been required - some of which I was aware of & some I missed before purchase. Most of the "modifications" have been on dubious "aesthetic" grounds, like the oversize tyres I knew about & the stripping out of the fin resonance dampers which I hadn't. I had budgeted for the tyres, but not the £80 for the damper blocks, whose absence was noticed by T'Wife from behind over the noise of her bike ! I think I have undone all the "mods" now ! Still ended up on the right side of average asking prices for similar bikes, even after the extra costs & at least I know what has been done now.
The point regarding propping the garage door partly shut earlier may have seemed a bit too much information - but I failed to duck far enough under it coming in for lunch & caught my nut on the sheet metal edge ! "Oh dear, I wish I hadn't done that" - or words to that effect - muttered, but I will probably not be wearing a helmet for a while until the rather extensive scuff heals over. Had to be on one of the increasingly few areas that actually seems capable of supporting hair growth these days as well - grrrr !
Just a bracket to fabricate to mount the oil reservoir / mechanism of the Nemo 2 oiler off the front brake bracket & I think that is everyting sorted on the Classic for now.
And the next time either of them requires tyres it will be on a "ride in - ride out" basis - somewhere else.