Monday, 28 April 2014

16 - In The Press

 Last week I phoned my friend Jim who's been doing a bit of work to his own DRZ400. He in turn phoned a friend of his with an engineering business, and as easily as that we had the use of a press.

 This morning we both went down to visit Herb at Rea Brothers Engineering.

Down near the back of the workshop was a 60 ton press, which according to Herb has been at 60 on occasions. 

We set the frame on it's jig into the press and fairly quickly had the bottom rails straightened nicely. I had the empty crankcases with me so we were able to set the engine into the frame, check the gaps and make sure the three engine mount bolts went in ok.

 Thanks again Jim and Herb.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

15 - Straightening Jig

 The polishing's coming along well but I'm a bit 'scunnered' so I decided to do something different today. I made a jig to hold the frame in the press. Nothing elaborate, just functional, made from whatever was lying to hand.

 I reckon I can jack the frame rails into shape with a press so this device should support it where needed and make the job a bit simpler. At least make it a one man operation. 

 I can do a fair bit in work but I can't carry in a frame. So I need to ask round my friends to see who has a press I can borrow for a minute or two.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

14 - Sore Fingers

 Well I'm back to work after my holidays so I took the crankcase in with me to degrease it thoroughly and press out all the bearings in the gearbox and also the three main bearings. A full new set will go in during assembly. 

 Now I've got a pair of empty crankcases which need polished up, and a wheel rim and hub that needs polished too. I've only done a couple of hours at it and my fingers are hurting already, I'm not really looking forward to a full weekend spent like this. I must see if I can find my old polishing mops and speed things up a bit.

 The spoke carrier is away to the platers' so hopefully it will be back in a fortnight ready to fit.

Monday, 14 April 2014

13 - Back wheel

 I've still a couple of days before I go back to work, so between trying to do a load of other jobs I took the back wheel apart, mainly to get the spoke carrier off so it could be re-chromed.

 Never in my life have I seen a tyre so hard to get off. It was as hard as the road and took a while, but I got there, It had been on for 20 years. 

 I'll send the carrier to R&S in Manchester, they did some bits for an RD125 I have and they came back good. In the meantime I'll polish up the hub and rim, put in new bearings and seals.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

12 - Download The Parts list

 Here's a link for anyone needing information from the parts list for a '71 250cc Model 80 Sherpa.

11 - Engine

 Yesterday I took the engine apart. I'm not really at the stage to work on it yet as I'm still sorting out the frames, but it's much easier to handle an empty crankcase than it is to lift a heavy engine in and out of the frames.

 Still I'll take the chance to clean and prepare parts for the rebuild. Hopefully not a lot will need done, as once again a lot of the work was completed 20 years ago.

Thursday, 10 April 2014

10 - Back in Barcelona

 Last week my wife and I went back to Barcelona. We had enjoyed our visit the last time we were there and wanted to return to see a bit more of the city and relax in the sun. 

 Of course I took the opportunity to re-visit the moto museum. The permanent exhibition hadn't changed much but the temporary display now included a selection of prototype and experimental models. I had a nice chat with the lady at the desk and she allowed me to browse through their library of books, although they were all in Spanish.

 The photos show a pace setting bike for cycle tracks, an Ossa built for playing motorcycle football, Montessa and Bultaco city scooters, a unique Ossa racing bike, dirt track bikes, ice speedway bikes and some crazy looking custom bikes.

 But for me the highlight of the trip was visiting Romero Motos, a Bultaco shop in Barcelona.  

 I took the Metro out to Artiques St. Adria and walked from there. It wasn't hard to find and when I entered I was met by Christina and her mother Lucia. They gave me a warm welcome and we chatted for a bit before Christina took me on a tour of the shop. We went through all the workshops and store rooms stopping at every bench while Christina explained what was going on. The Romero family make and build parts for various Bultaco models. They compete in a classic racing series with three beautiful TSS race bikes prepared in this shop. 

 After the tour Mrs Romero opened lots of old photo albums and showed me pictures from the 1960's when she worked at the factory. She pointed out all the important figures, Mr Bulto and some of the factory racers, and herself.

 Lots more talking followed while we waited for the men to arrive. When they did Christina introduced me to her father Jesus Romero, her Uncle Peter and a family friend. 

 Mr Romero is pretty much "the man" when it comes to suspension set up. Unfortunately he couldn't stay long because he had a hospital appointment, but before him and his wife left he took me into the workshop, and with the help of Christina's translation skills, explained to me how to strip and rebuild the rear shocks. He also told me the problem I have with my front forks is quite common.

 So with a quick "Cheerio" away they went leaving just Christina and her Uncle Peter. Peter is a great guy, he doesn't speak any english but that didn't seem to matter, with a lot of pointing and hand signals we were able to understand each other the very best. He showed me all around the race bikes while Christina dealt with some customers and he helped me with my shopping list of parts for the Sherpa. I managed to come home with two new aluminium mudguards, rubber grips, fork dust covers and a couple of other bits.

 Soon it came round to lunch time, Christina picked up her youngest son Hugh from school and he did a very good job of holding a heavy camera in his little hands for a picture before we all said goodbye and the shop closed for lunch.

 Thank you all, Christina, Peter, Mr and Mrs Romero for making me so very welcome.