We are frequently asked about the availability of external oil pressure gauges. While we can get one which is fed off the rocker feed line for Norton twins from engine number 116372, it is not something I recommend. I had a friend many years ago who had one on on his Triumph twin and the vibration cracked the copper line, spewing oil everywhere and he almost crashed his bike. This last week we were contacted by a customer whose motor had seized up because he didn’t notice that the line to his gauge had fractured causing a loss of oil and pressure.
The idiot lights fitted some bikes are a good idea but the cause of many bottom end failures is a blocked sludge trap and there’s no pressure gauge to warn you of this. Before going for a ride it is a good idea to check your oil level and even take the cap off the oil tank to be sure the oil is returning nicely – on early Norton twins you were even advised, in the owner’s handbook, to put your finger over the return hole when starting the bike cold, to divert oil to the valve gear.
Here’s an interesting bit of advice I received yesterday from an actual mechanic. There’s no need to pre-mix gas for your two stroke chainsaw or weed eater. All you have to do is fill it with fresh gas, start it up and the progressively add oil until you see smoke. Makes you wonder.