First time out ....

For all that relates to both Armstrong MT 500 and Harley Davidson MT 350
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Cato
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 3:59 pm
Location: Birmingham

First time out ....

Post by Cato » Mon May 25, 2020 4:33 pm

... today on the 350. I was trying to work out when I last rode the MT500 and I reckon it was about 12 years ago. So trying out an MT350 after that time brought back some memories, and reafirmed what a decent all rounder MTs are. The induction noise was a familiar sound from the 500 that I've not experienced on other bikes.

They're not the best off road, and the same is true on the road. However I don't think I've ridden anything better as a compromise between the two. The 350 has enough torque across the range to make up for the lack of power, and as it's a bit of a lump in off road terms it isn't as skittish as some MX bikes are on the road. The trail type tyres are obviously helping with that too.

One thing I did note, the hoo ha about the disc brake really isn't justified IMHO. Aside from production costs, the main advantage to disc brakes is the lack of maintenance they require. However a well set up and adjusted drum on a 500 will pull you up as quick as the single disc on the 350. I spent time setting up the one on my 500 and it the brake would overcome the tyre's grip on a bone dry tarmac surface. So whilst I'll appreciate not having to fiddle with it beyond changing pads, in pure stopping terms there's no advantage.

Overall well impressed with the bike, there are a few bits to fettle and faff with. First will be a service and belt change as even though it hasn't done many miles since it was done by a previous owner I like to know the starting point for maintenance. Probably a few modifications to be made in terms of rear racks and the electrical system. I may well make a new loom for it too, base it around an m-unit for simplicity.
0 x
1928 Motoconfort (in boxes).
1934 Magnat Debon.
1957 Enfield Bullet 350.
1981 GSX 1100 ET.
1995 MT350.

Cato
Posts: 46
Joined: Tue May 12, 2020 3:59 pm
Location: Birmingham

Re: First time out ....

Post by Cato » Mon May 25, 2020 4:41 pm

Oh, and I'd forgotten how utterly pointless mirrors are on an MT. As soon as you give it some throttle and start to move the view in the mirror changes to whatever the visual equivalent of white noise is and stays that way until you stop. :lol:
2 x
1928 Motoconfort (in boxes).
1934 Magnat Debon.
1957 Enfield Bullet 350.
1981 GSX 1100 ET.
1995 MT350.

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lardmarc
Posts: 1206
Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:56 pm
Location: Newton Abbot

Re: First time out ....

Post by lardmarc » Mon May 25, 2020 7:12 pm

Cato wrote: ↑
Mon May 25, 2020 4:33 pm
However a well set up and adjusted drum on a 500 will pull you up as quick as the single disc on the 350.
It won't lock up as quick on mud either.

I've been telling this lot for years that a well set up drum is as good as a 350 disc.

The Armstrong's rear drum knocks the HD disc into a cocked hat for feel and lack of maintenance, more trouble with rear discs overheating/ grabbing than anything else.
1 x
“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” (Adams, 2009).

Wirralman
Posts: 5972
Joined: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:45 am
Location: Wirral, Merseyside

Re: First time out ....

Post by Wirralman » Mon May 25, 2020 7:32 pm

lardmarc wrote: ↑
Mon May 25, 2020 7:12 pm
The Armstrong's rear drum knocks the HD disc into a cocked hat for feel and lack of maintenance, more trouble with rear discs overheating/ grabbing than anything else.
Years ago one of the keen offroaders reckoned that an MT350 front brake and MT500 back brake was the best combination.

As for MT350 calipers, I think I've stripped down 6 of them to clean + fit new seals. They all benefitted from some attention. I've had a rear master cylinder rust solid and front master cylinder benefit from a refurb kit.
2 x

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